Lufthansa Technik and GE have chosen the Legnica Special Economic Zone in Środa Śląska, Poland, as the site fortheir maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) joint venture for GEnx-2B and GE9X engines. Plans call for the joint venture, called XEOS, to invest approximately $267 million in the new facility. The companies expect ground breaking on the 350,000-sq-ft facility to begin in the spring, in time for its opening in September 2018. Initially tasked with repairing GEnx-2B engines, which power the Boeing 747-8, the plant will start work on the 777X’s GE9X in 2021, according to GE. Employment will begin at about 220 and grow to about 500 employees at full capacity.
The joint venture chose the Legnica Special Economic Zone (LSEZ) for its development potential, economic competitiveness, government support and availability of a skilled workforce, said GE. Plans call for “intensive cooperation” with the Wrocław Institute of Technology and local technical schools to help train employees.
GE and Lufthansa Technik expect the center to mainly provide service for GEnx-2B engines, some 500 of which now fly with 18 operators including Lufthansa Airlines. The fleet has accumulated 5 million flight hours. Meanwhile, GE has sold nearly 700 GE9X engines, expected to enter service in 2020.
Lufthansa Technik and GE signed a memorandum of understanding to create the joint venture and build the new engine overhaul facility at the 2015 Paris Airshow. The parties are expect to finalize “certain agreements” associated with the joint venture during next year’s first quarter.