French President Nicolas Sarkozy inaugurates Turbomeca’s “Joseph Szydlowski” plant

French President Nicolas Sarkozy today inaugurated Turbomeca's new "Joseph Szydlowski" plant in Bordes, near Pau in Southwest France, in a ceremony attended by Jean-Paul Herteman, CEO of Safran, and Pierre Fabre, Chairman and CEO of Turbomeca, a Safran group company. Safran invested 100 million euros in this new plant, ensuring the long-term viability of Turbomeca, the world's leading maker of helicopter engines, in the Aquitaine region of France.

Bordes, June 22, 2010

The new plant is named after Joseph Szydlowski, who founded the company in 1938 and led it to a preeminent position in the international helicopter engine market. In 1942 Joseph Szydlowski moved the company's facilities to Bordes. Over the next 70 years, the company continued to develop its business at this site, now revamped to provide a state-of-the-art production plant.

The new facilities inaugurated today are designed to meet three primary objectives:

  • Deploy high-performance production capabilities, in particular enhancing flows and reducing production cycles.
  • Foster greater synergies between design and production by physically integrating the different teams.
  • Meet best-in-class Health-Safety-Environment standards, to ensure optimum working conditions and environmental protection.

A world-class, sustainable industrial and technological base in France

"The construction of Turbomeca's new plant near the existing factory illustrates Safran's industrial strategy of maintaining our world-class core production facilities in France near our decision-making and R&D centers," said Jean-Paul Herteman, Chief Executive Officer of Safran. "The Joseph Szydlowski plant represents an investment equal to more than ten percent of Turbomeca's sales, but it will generate savings in inventories and work-in-process of at least that much. Our international presence, which is indispensable for both our competitiveness and to deliver local support to all customers, both complements and extends the capabilities of our French plants."

Spanning some 42,000 m2 (453,600 sq ft), the new Turbomeca building comprises offices and production units. It houses 1,300 employees, including 500 in workshops and 800 in offices, mainly in the design department. The building offers optimized working conditions and was designed to address a wide range of environmental concerns.

Optimizing production flows

Part of Turbomeca's Bordes site, which has a total of 2,600 employees, the Joseph Szydlowski plant features a new industrial organization and simplified production flows. This will help cut production cycles by more than half over the next three years, to drastically reduce working capital requirements for a remarkable return on this significant capital investment.

An exemplary public-private partnership

The new Joseph Szydlowski plant is part of the Aeropolis hub, a center of aerospace excellence and a model for public-private partnerships. Turbomeca teamed up with the Aquitaine Regional Council, the Pyrénées-Atlantiques General Council, the Gave, Coteaux and Vath Vielha communities, the French government and the European Union to carry out this large-scale initiative, which is also part of the world-class competitive cluster, Aerospace Valley.
In addition to Turbomeca, Aeropolis includes office facilities occupied by subcontractors, a training and conference center, an energy and fluid power plant for the factory, a crèche and a shared company cafeteria.

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Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Safran group has 55,000 employees and generated sales exceeding 10.4 billion euros in 2009. 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 1.1 billion euros in 2009. Safran is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris and its share is part of the SBF 120 and Euronext 100 indexes.

About Turbomeca
Turbomeca (Safran group) is the leading helicopter engine manufacturer, and has produced over 68 000 turbines based on its own designs since the company was founded. With 2,350 customers in over 155 countries, Turbomeca provides a proximity service thanks to its 16 sites, 26 Maintenance Centers, 24 Repair & Overhaul Centers and 90 Field representatives and Field technicians. Microturbo, the subsidiary of Turbomeca, is the European leader in turbojet engines for missiles, drones and auxiliary power units.

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Responsable Relations Presse
Tél +33 (0)1 40 60 80 28

Groupe Safran
2, bd du Général Martial Valin
75724 Paris Cedex 15 – France

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