EXHIBITOR STORIES

 

USD 1 BILLION AEROSPACE CLUSTER FOR AL AIN, ABU DHABI
 
 
 
Mubadala Development, the investment arm of the Government of Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) are jointly developing an aerospace cluster in and around Al Ain International Airport for aerospace manufacturing and services firms. The company hopes dozens of small to medium-sized firms will relocate to the facilities next to the underused airport to create a an aerospace community around Mubadala's carbon fiber manufacturing plant.<><> Mubadala also owns a carbon-fiber manufacturing plant in Al Ain to produce parts for the European aircraft markers Airbus and Alenia Aeronautica, as well as its planned military aircraft maintenance business, which is being developed in partnership with Sikorsky Aerospace Services. Mubadala will invest $500 million in the Al Ain composites plant. Mubadala has signed a 10-year agreement with EADS, the parent company of Airbus, to produce spoilers and flap track fairings for the Airbus A330, A340, A350 and A380. Future plans called for Mubadala to elevate its role as an Airbus supplier, with plans to make primary structures and components. <><> Mubadala also wants to use its stake in Piaggio Aero Industries, based in the northern Italian coastal city of Genoa, to acquire the required knowledge and capabilities. Mubadala already owns stakes in various aviation companies covering manufacturing, maintenance and flight training including the Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies Company. Through its new Strata Manufacturing business in Al Ain, Mubadala has received US$2 billion (Dh7.34bn) of initial contracts to produce aircraft parts made of composite materials for various European aerospace firms. The indicated target is 2016 to 2018 for Mubadala and subsidiaries to become OEM’s to the aerospace industry.<><> Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) and bavAIRia, the Bavarian aerospace cluster have also signed a agreement to develop the aerospace cluster. They will explore joint business opportunities within key areas of common interest including technology fields such as aero engines, aero structures, VIP interiors, satellite navigation applications, education & training. <><> Several Memorandum of Understandings with companies from Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the Unites State of America. These include the signing of four MoU’s from companies within Bavaria including Telair International, MT Aerospace, Aerotech Peissenberg and Aircraft Electronic Engineering.<><> Positives for Steel Sector: The Aerospace Cluster is a great initiative for the region, and is bound to succeed. The GCC and its airlines with Emirates, Qatar Airways and Ettihad will continue to grow as they are strategically located as transit points between the East & West. Add to that other airlines, the corporate jet and personal jet sector, air force and defense aircraft and the Middle East is a voluminous market.<><> With more aircraft coming to the region it makes logistical sense for Engineering, Overhaul & Maintenance facilities to be increased here as well as stock & supply of related parts. <><> As major order placers, regional airlines and the governments that own them are well placed to relocate manufacturing of spares and accessories into the region. The Aerospace cluster with the added tax-free benefit and the possibility of local capital in the form of joint-venture seems a logical step forward.<><> For suppliers to the steel fabrication industry these new developments signify:<><> • An additional market for conventional machinery, tools & consumables<> • A new market for specialized machinery, tools & consumables specifically used in Aircraft Industry.<> • An emphasis on quality and brands of repute, as used by the aircraft industry worldwide<> • A preference for particular brands (largely European) a result of brand loyalty of the previous manufacturing base of shifting/expanding manufacturers.<> • A new market for metal-cutting machine tools as manufacturing sector requirement.<> • A new market for the MRO segment with increase in Aircraft MRO facilities.<>