UAE’s Strata signs aerospace JV to supply Boeing

Khaled Al Qubaisi forecasts double-digit growth asother deals are implemented in the coming years

Strata facilities in Al Ain. Pawan Singh / The National
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Strata, the wholly-owned manufacturing business of Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Mubadala Aerospace, signed a joint venture deal with Belgian composite materials firm Solvay to supply Boeing with aircraft materials, it said on Sunday.

The partnership is the latest step by Mubadala Aerospace to expand its aviation-related services in the UAE, and marks its entry into advanced materials manufacturing for the aerospace industry.


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Under the JV, the two parties will build an 8,500 square meter carbon-fibre manufacturing facility in Al Ain, to be commissioned in 2020 subject to anti-trust approvals.

The facility will supply Boeing with advanced composite materials for Boeing 777X wide-body aircraft.

The two parties said the equal ownership JV will be the UAE’s first supplier of ‘pre-impregnated’ (pre-preg) carbon fibers, a durable advanced material used to manufacture composite structures for aviation parts.

"We want to become a centre of excellence for high-tech manufacturing," said Khaled Al Qubaisi, chief executive of aerospace, renewables and ICT at Mubadala, in an interview with The National.

“This agreement with Solvay fits perfectly with our growth strategy and demonstrates our commitment to providing competitive offerings to the world’s leading OEMs [original equipment manufacturers].”

Solvay chief executive Jean-Pierre Clamadieu added in a statement: “This joint venture showcases Solvay’s capabilities in advanced aerospace composite technologies, including for aircraft primary structures as a growth pillar for our materials business.”

The JV is part of a partnership signed with Solvay last July, under which the two pledged to create advanced materials for the aerospace industry.

Al Qubaisi is forecasting double-digit growth for Strata's business in the coming years as several pre-struck deals come to fruition. These deals include a partnership with Rolls-Royce announced in July to build an advanced maintenance centre at the Nibras Aerospace Park in Al Ain that would be able to service 150 of Rolls Royce's Trent XWB jet engines a year from 2021.

Last year, Strata signed US$1 billion of contracts with Airbus to manufacture the horizontal tail plane for the Airbus A320, and inboard flaps for the Airbus A350-900.