By Tim Hepher
ABU DHABI, April 17 Abu Dhabi fund Mubadala's
aerospace division unveiled a $1 billion contract to build
carbon-composite structures for Boeing, boosting the
United Arab Emirates' efforts to become a key manufacturer for
the aerospace industry.
The 10 year deal calls for the Mubadala Aerospace to produce
ribs, or strengthening components, for the tail section of the
777 mini-jumbo and the vertical part of the tail for the 787
Dreamliner, Boeing's latest passenger jet.
It also marks the first time, Boeing said, of a direct
outsourcing deal for composites production in the Arab world.
Airline manufacturers are using more and more lightweight
composite materials in their aircraft to boost fuel
"It's ballpark about the same as our previous deals with
Airbus and Alenia Aermacchi. The payments will be spread over
time, according to deliveries," Executive Director Homaid
al-Shemmari told Reuters.
The move reflects a goal by Mubadala Aerospace, a unit of
state fund Mubadala, to become one of the world's top
five suppliers to the aerospace industry, he said.
"Aerospace is one of the key factors that Mubadala is
interested in. We are about 28 percent of their (Mubadala's)
revenue and we are not backing out," Shemmari said.
Its Strata subsidiary started delivering wing parts for the
A330-340 to Airbus 18 months ago from a factory at Al Ain.
Strata will begin delivering the carbon-composite tail parts
to Boeing in 2013, according to the deal finalised at an Abu
Dhabi aerospace conference.
A newly signed strategic agreement also puts Strata in a
position to be a future supplier of the vertical fin or
stabilizer for the 787 Dreamliner, the companies said.
Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, is investing
billions of dollars in infrastructure, real estate and tourism
to diversify its economy.
"One of the targets for us is to be a risk-sharing partner
for the OEMs by 2020," said Shemmari. "When they launch the new
narrowbody we want to have the engineering capacity, the
research and development capacity to participate in a serious
manner in those programmes."
Abu Dhabi accounts for more than half of the country's
economic output. The emirate hopes to lift its non-oil share of
gross domestic product to 64 percent in 2030 from roughly 50
Mubadala Aerospace owns a majority stake in SR Technics
(SRT), the Swiss repair and overhaul firm. It also owns local
repair company Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT).
It holds a controlling stake in Italian business aircraft
manufacturer Piaggio Aero along with India's Tata Group and has
partnerships with General Electric and Finmeccanica
In Abu Dhabi its subsidiaries also include military repair
company Ammroc, which it owns together with minority partners
Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky.