Rolls-Royce expands global capability
Rolls-Royce today announced plans to invest in two new aero engine facilities in Singapore and in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. The Company had previously announced that it was considering possible locations in Asia and the US.
Over the last decade, Rolls-Royce has established a strong position in global markets. In the light of this success, the Company is investing in new capability in order to meet the increasing needs of its global business and its growing customer base around the world.
The decision to locate the new facilities in the US and Singapore has been driven by three strategic considerations: the attractions of locating major facilities close to customers in two of the largest and fastest growing aerospace markets in the world; the business continuity benefits that will arise from locating the assembly and test of Trent engines on two continents; and a reduction in the Company’s exposure to the dollar.
Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce Chief Executive, commented: “These latest investments in world-class facilities are further evidence of our success in aerospace markets and the continuing trend towards the globalization of our operations. They also build on our existing international presence and relationships and will bring us closer to key customers in Asia and the US.”
Rolls-Royce has become a global company, with 45 per cent of its Research and Technology, 40 per cent of its employees and 50 per cent of new programmes, already located outside the United Kingdom. At the same time, the Company has maintained its commitment to the UK and over the last five years, has invested £837 million in UK capital projects, which accounts for 80 per cent of its worldwide capital investment over this period.
The total investment in these two new facilities, which amounts to £150 million over the next five years, will comprise two elements:
In the light of the Company’s success in the modern wide-body aircraft market and the need to develop increased capacity, Rolls-Royce will build a new facility in Singapore to assemble and test large civil engines, starting with the Trent 1000 for the Boeing 787 and the Trent XWB for the Airbus A350 XWB. Together with its existing UK facility in Derby, this will provide the Company with a dual sourcing capability for the assembly and test of large civil engines, including future new versions of the Trent engine.
The Company’s Derby facility is planned to remain the centre of expertise for large civil engines, with the capability to design and develop these engines. It will also continue to assemble and test the Company’s portfolio of large civil engines.
The new facility will be located in an Aerospace Park at Seletar in the north of Singapore and will be fully operational by the end of 2009. It will employ up to 330 people depending on customer demand and will receive support from the Singapore Economic Development Board.
The establishment of this modern “factory of the future” represents an important step forward in the development of the Trent programme and in the Company’s wider relationship with Singapore.
Commonwealth of Virginia
The new facility in the Commonwealth of Virginia will assemble and test the RB282, the engine selected in June by Dassault to power its new super midsize corporate jet and potentially the first in a family of small engines for the corporate and regional jet market. More than 90 per cent of corporate aircraft are manufactured in the US, which is today the most significant market for these products.
The development and production proving programmes for the RB282 will be undertaken in the UK at recently completed facilities in Bristol.
The new facility in the Commonwealth of Virginia will also have the capability to undertake blisk manufacture for the F136 engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). It will also provide the Company with options for future advanced manufacturing activities as opportunities arise.
The new facility will be located at Prince George County, Virginia and will be fully operational by the end of 2009. The Commonwealth of Virginia and Prince George County will provide economic incentives to support the project. This investment builds on the Group’s strong presence in North America and over time is expected to create around 500 jobs in the Commonwealth of Virginia, assuming the F136 programme proceeds to volume production.
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