U.S. Ambassador to France, Jane D. Hartley, visits Safran/Albany plant in Commercy
Commercy, November 3, 2015
The United States Ambassador to the French Republic and the Principality of Monaco, Jane D. Hartley, today visited a production plant in Commercy, eastern France, representing a French-American industrial
partnership between Safran and Albany. Welcoming her for the visit were Ross McInnes, Chairman of the Safran Board of Directors, and Joseph G. Morone, President and Chief Executive Officer of Albany International.
Opened in May 2014, this plant makes composite parts for new-generation aircraft engines using an innovative 3D woven composite technology. The first application of this advanced method are the fan blades and cases for the LEAP engine, which will power the next generation of single-aisle commercial jets, including the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 MAX. The LEAP is developed by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran) and GE.
In March 2014 the two partners opened a similar plant in Rochester, New Hampshire, in the United States, to make the same parts. Rochester mainly supplies the American market, especially Boeing airplanes. The partners invested a total of $200 million in these two facilities.
The LEAP engine features advanced technologies in aerodynamics, materials and environmental-protection measures. These new composite parts made by Safran and Albany are woven in three dimensions to make them especially strong and lightweight, helping reduce fuel consumption by 15% compared with the current generation of CFM engines. Selected for the new generation of single-aisle commercial jets, the LEAP has made a very successful market entrance, with some 9,600 already on order – equal to eight years of production for Safran.
The Commercy plant has already recruited 156 employees and by 2018 it will have a total workforce of 400 on a 10 hectare site (about 25 acres), with 27,000 square meters of floorspace (291,600 sq ft). The Rochester, New Hampshire plant now has nearly 160 employees, with the total rising to about 500 in 2020, on a 20 hectare site (49 acres), with 33,000 square meters (356,400 sq ft) of floorspace.
"The industrial partnership between Safran and Albany is indicative of the excellent opportunities that exist to create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, high quality jobs that improve the overall economic prosperity of both countries. I am also impressed by the advanced technology of the LEAP engine, which will save fuel and as a result, reduce the impact of travel on the environment," commented Jane D. Hartley.
"We are very proud of our 'twin plants' in Commercy and Rochester, which create sustainable employment and are the hubs of a complete ecosystem including education, subcontractors and service providers," said Ross McInnes. "We are very pleased that Safran creates jobs in France, where we have nearly 40,000 employees, and also in the United States, with some 7,000 employees among 22 states."
"The Commercy plant, like its twin in New Hampshire, epitomizes what can be accomplished through the combination of technological vision, patient investment and business persistence that characterize the fifteen-year collaboration between Safran and Albany. We are honored to have been Safran's partner in this journey to bring this radically new composites technology to commercial reality in the aerospace industry," said Joseph G. Morone.
Albany International is a global advanced textiles and materials processing company, with two core businesses. Machine Clothing is the world's leading producer of custom-designed fabrics and belts essential to production in the paper, nonwovens, and other process industries. Albany Engineered Composites is a rapidly growing supplier of highly engineered composite parts for the aerospace industry. Albany International is headquartered in Rochester, New Hampshire, operates 19 plants in 10 countries, employs 4,000 people worldwide, and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol AIN). Additional information about the Company and its products and services can be found at www.albint.com.
Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Group has 69,000 employees and generated sales of 15.4 billion euros in 2014. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. The Group invests heavily in Research & Development to meet the requirements of changing markets, including expenditures of 2 billion euros in 2014. Safran is listed on Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index.
For more information, www.safran-group.com / Follow @SAFRAN on Twitter