Airbus and a group of Chinese industrial partners today signed a contract to establish a Joint Venture Manufacturing Centre in Harbin, China to manufacture composite material parts and components for the Airbus A350 XWB programme and Airbus A320 Family aircraft.
The Chinese partners are Harbin Aircraft Industry Group Company Limited (HAIG), Hafei Aviation Industry Company Limited (HAI), Avichina Industry & Technology Company Limited (AVICHINA) and Harbin Development Zone Heli Infrastructure Development Company Limited (HELI).
The contract was signed by Laurence Barron, President of Airbus China, and Pang Jian, Chairman of the Board of Directors of HAIG and HAI in Madrid, Spain in the presence of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
The Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Centre Company Limited (the Manufacturing Centre) will be set up in 2009. HAIG will hold a 50 per cent stake, Airbus China will hold 20 per cent, while HAI, AVICHINA and HELI will each hold a ten per cent stake. Manufacturing operations are expected to start in September 2009 and a new plant should be ready for operations by the end of 2010.
The Manufacturing Centre will produce major components for the A350 XWB programme, as part of Airbus' target of manufacturing five per cent of the A350 XWB airframe in China. These components will be manufactured using the latest composite manufacturing technology based on Airbus standards and processes.
"The signing of the joint venture contract marks a historical breakthrough for the relationship between HAIG / HAI and Airbus," said Pang Jian. "HAIG / HAI and Airbus have become risk sharing partners. We will share the profits of the joint venture and will jointly meet the challenges caused by global economic slowdown. Today's signature is a joint response of the Chinese partners and Airbus to these challenges. It is based on our confidence in the future economic growth of China and in the future development of the Chinese aviation industry together with Airbus. We will further promote and expand our strategic cooperation," he added.
"This project demonstrates once again Airbus' long term commitment to the sustainable development of China's aviation industry," said Laurence Barron, President of Airbus China. "The joint venture is another step forward in our cooperation with Hafei, as Hafei was one of the founding members of our Airbus Engineering Centre in Beijing. We are very confident in the prospects for our joint venture with our Chinese partners in Harbin," he added.
Airbus is committed to forging a long-term strategic partnership with China. The total value of industrial cooperation between Airbus and the Chinese aviation industry is expected to be near 200 million dollars per year in 2010 and 450 million dollars per year in 2015.
Airbus is an EADS company.
Background for the editors:
Industrial co-operation between Airbus and Chinese aviation industry dates back to 1985. Aerospatiale, today Airbus France, signed first product sub-contracting agreement in 1985 with Xi'an Aircraft Company on manufacturing and assembling access doors for Airbus A300/A310 wide-body aircraft.
On 26th November 2007, Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China to formalise the commitment of allocating A350 XWB airframe workpackages to the Chinese aviation industry.
On the same day, Airbus and the former AVIC II, parent company of Hafei, signed a "Heads of Agreement" for a joint venture manufacturing centre.
On 15th July 2008, Airbus China Limited and HAIG entered into a framework contract for the Joint Venture Composite Manufacturing Centre in Harbin.
This manufacturing centre is established as part of Airbus' efforts to fulfil Airbus' undertaking to NDRC to allocate such airframe work packages relating to the Airbus A350 XWB programme to China.
So far, six Chinese manufacturers are already involved in manufacturing parts, such as wing components, emergency-exit doors for Airbus aircraft.
In July 2005, the Airbus (Beijing) Engineering Centre was formally inaugurated in Beijing. In June 2008, ABEC obtained its joint venture license from the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce to become a joint venture between Airbus China Limited and Chinese partners. Today Hafei holds a stake of 18 per cent in the JV.
In September 2008, Airbus A320 Family Final Assembly Line in China (FALC), a joint venture between Airbus and a Chinese Consortium comprising Tianjin Free Trade Zone, former AVIC I and Hafei, was officially inaugurated by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders.