Airbus To Increase Shareholding of China's Harbin Factory

 - February 19, 2014, 9:10 AM
The Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center houses automated-tape-laying, autoclave, automated trimming and non-destructive test equipment. (Photo: Airbus)

Airbus will increase its share China’s Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center (HMC) from 20 to 25 percent under the terms of an agreement signed recently by Airbus COO Günter Butschek and AVIC executive vice president Geng Ruguang. Established in the 2009, the joint venture involves Airbus and a group of Chinese partners led by Avic.

The agreement calls for HMC to increase its share of production of A320 rudders from 50 percent worldwide to 80 percent. The two parties also plan to work toward ensuring the ramp up of A350 XWB work packages at the center and commit to exploring “other opportunities.”

“We are delighted Airbus has increased its equity in the joint venture and plans to increase the production rates of the manufacturing center,” said Geng. “Since it was set up in 2009, the Harbin manufacturing center has progressed to become the best composite material aerostructures manufacturing facility in China. The roadmap Airbus and Avic are envisaging will ensure the ongoing development of the manufacturing center.”

Butshcek added that the decision underscores Airbus’s commitment to the future of the joint venture with Avic, which he called one of its most important partners in China.

Now 50-percent owned by Harbin Aircraft Industry Group Corporation, the joint venture’s Chinese interest also includes Hafei Aviation Industry Company Limited (10 percent), AviChina Industry & Technology Company (10 percent) and Harbin Development Zone Infrastructure Development Company (10 percent).

The center started production of elevators for Airbus A320-family narrowbodies in December 2009. It also produces composite parts for the A350 XWB using Airbus standards and processes. Deliveries of single-aisle parts and components started in July 2010 and delivery of the A350 XWB components started in 2012 with the first S19 maintenance door. In September 2013, the center started to deliver A350 elevators.