Pratt & Whitney to invest $110 mln in Singapore plants

SINGAPORE Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:33pm EST

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SINGAPORE Jan 31 (Reuters) - Jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, will invest $110 million to set up two facilities in Singapore and expand existing operations - a boost to the Asian city-state's efforts to grow its manufacturing base.

A new manufacturing facility will be ready by 2014 and begin making commercial engine fan blades in 2015 and high-pressure turbine discs by 2016, the company said in a statement released on Thursday at an event at Singapore's Seletar aerospace hub.

A new component repair facility will start operating at the end of this year, it said.

Pratt & Whitney said its staff levels in Singapore would grow to 2,500 over the next five years from about 2,300 now.

Its business units in the city-state are now involved in the repair of aircraft engine parts, research and development and other services.

Singapore is an expanding hub for aerospace maintenance, repair, overhaul and manufacturing as companies such as Rolls Royce Holdings PLC and Bombardier Inc expand operations, attracted by the Southeast Asian country's specialised infrastructure and low tax rates.

Firms are also drawn by soaring aircraft deliveries in Asia.

Airbus and Boeing Co have both issued brisk demand forecasts for the next 20 years, predicting $4 trillion of aircraft deliveries, mainly on the back of emerging markets led by Asia.

But some manufacturers from other sectors in Singapore are moving to Malaysia's nearby Iskandar economic zone, which is three times the size of the city-state. Land prices are far lower in Iskandar and electricity costs are about half of Singapore's rates.

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