SHANGHAI May 8 China needs nearly $30 billion in
investment to develop large commercial jets, which are scheduled
for a maiden flight in 2014, state-owned CCTV said on Friday.
Beijing had made public an ambitious goal to manufacture
large passenger jets with more than 150 seats and freighters
capable of handling more than 100 tonnes of cargo to take on
Boeing (BA.N) and Airbus EAD.PA EAD.DE.
"The project needs an investment of 30 billion yuan in the
next three to five years with overall investment estimated at 200
billion yuan ($29.33 billion)," CCTV said, citing Zhang Qingwei,
chairman of Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (CACC), which
developed the large jet.
Zhang added that the government is funding less than a third
of the upfront cost, with the remainder coming from various
non-government sources. He did not specify Beijing's overall
input in the project.
CACC is 31 percent owned by the central government and 26
percent owned by the Shanghai municipal government, it said.
So far, the initial design of the jet, codenamed C919 has
been completed but the CACC still needs to make major
breakthroughs in engine technologies and advanced composite
materials, the report said.
To make sure that the jet is available for delivery in 2016,
CACC may use foreign-made engines to power the jet, it added.
China, meanwhile, has signed up a total of 208 orders for its
first self-developed regional jet ARJ21, unveiled in late 2007.
(Reporting by Fang Yan and Jacqueline Wong)