NEW DELHI: François Lepot, CEO of Safran Aero Boosters, announced that a new compressor blades and vanes production plant for aircraft engines will be set up in the Walloon region of Belgium, in the province of Liège.
The announcement was made before Willy Borsus, Vice-President of Wallonia, and Thomas Dermine, Secretary of State for Recovery and Strategic Investments.
Representing a €50 million investment, the new plant will produce titanium compressor blades, including those required for the LEAP engine, and will bolster Safran Aero Boosters’ industrial expertise in its flagship product, the low-pressure compressor. Bearing the name Safran Blades, it is being set up in partnership with the Belgian and Walloon federal authorities, the Société Régionale dʼInvestissement de Wallonie (S.R.I.W) and the Société Fédérale de Participations et d’Investissement (S.F.P.I.M). Safran Aero Boosters has a majority stake of 56% and the two partners each hold 22%.
“There are hundreds of blades in the compressor. They are a key component in our supply chain. Managing their production in both technical and logistical terms will guarantee our performance,” said François Lepot, CEO of Safran Aero Boosters
The 10,000-square-meter center of excellence will be located in Marchin, on a former ArcelorMittal site that will be completely refurbished, incorporating Safran’s best industrial technologies to meet the highest global standards. Featuring automation, highly qualified personnel and the most advanced digital technologies, Plant 4.0 will produce more than 2,000 blades and vanes a day, with innovative, autonomous real-time quality control at every critical stage of production. It will be operational in 2025 and will employ around 100 people.
In addition, the site is designed to meet the highest standards in terms of sustainable development, with a significant reduction in energy and water consumption and the use of renewable energy (solar panels, hydraulic turbines, etc.).
“We are very proud to announce the construction of this plant today. I’d like to thank the Belgian and Walloon governments for their ongoing support for Safran’s industrial and research projects, and for consolidating the autonomy of our supply chain through this investment,” said Olivier Andriès, CEO of Safran.
“Belgium and Wallonia are teeming with innovative companies that boast incredible expertise. This is the case for Safran Aero Boosters, in a strategic and forward-looking business area. We must be proud of our successes, and make even greater use of our know-how ,” said Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium.
“This new plant, the only one of its kind in Belgium, will enable us to develop new expertise, and by relocating this business to Wallonia, it will give Safran Aero Boosters real autonomy in its production. This investment will also create about 100 jobs and rehabilitate a former industrial wasteland, thus contributing to our objective of rehabilitating 100 hectares per year. Wallonia is keen to reaffirm its strong support for Safran Aero Boosters, a true Walloon technological showcase in the aeronautical field,” said Willy Borsus, Vice-President and Minister of Economy, Foreign Trade, Research and Innovation, Digital, Land Use Planning, Agriculture, IFAPME and Competence Centers.