Monday, November 7, 2016

News: Rolls-Royce in £565m China deal

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World-renowned engineering firm, Rolls-Royce, has landed a $700m order from China Southern for Trent 700 engines to power ten Airbus A330 aircraft.

The airline operates 700 passenger and cargo transport aircrafts - one of the largest fleets in the country. It currently operates 14 A330s that are powered by the Trent 700, five A380s powered by the Trent 900 and nine Boeing 757s powered by the RB211. Rolls-Royce said that the agreement confirms the Trent 700 as the overwhelming engine of customer choice in Greater China, with a market share of close to 90%.

More than 1,600 Trent 700s are now in service or on firm order, making it the largest in-service Trent engine.

Paul Freestone, senior vice president, customers – civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce, said: "We are proud to support China's continued airline growth, creating new connections that link China ever more closely. We are particularly grateful to China Southern, a valued customer that was the first airline in mainland China to operate the A330, for its continued support for our engines."

Li Tongbin, executive vice president, China Southern, added: "We have been impressed with Rolls-Royce engine performance in service and look forward to further developing our relationship with this latest order. Rolls-Royce has an important role to play in supporting our fleet growth."

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The deal was announced at the Zhuhai Airshow in the same week that the BBC's Panaroma and The Guardian reported that Rolls-Royce may have benefited from the use of alleged payments by network of intermediaries to secure lucrative contracts in 12 countries, including China.

Key parts of the engines are manufactured at its £110m Rotherham facility which manufactures turbine blades for a wide-range of Trent aero engines.

The most advanced turbine blade casting facility in the world was officially opened on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham in 2015.

When fully operational in 2017, the 150,000 sq ft facility will employ 150 people and have the capacity to manufacture more than 100,000 single crystal turbine blades a year.

Rolls-Royce chose to invest in a new facility as it needed more than one location for the production of its HP and IP turbine blades. It selected Rotherham due to the AMP and the close links already forged with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing on the site. It was also a condition of the Government funded research that a location with a legacy of heavy industry was selected.

At the end of 2015, Rolls-Royce, said that it was ready to build the first of its new generation Trent 7000 engines.

Rolls-Royce website

Images: Rolls-Royce


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