Safran and Air France sign regional reindustrialization agreement
Following the initial agreement between Air France Industries-KLM and Safran Aircraft Engines to create a joint venture dedicated to compressor blade repairs*, the two partners also signed an agreement with tube manufacturer Vallourec** concerning regional reindustrialization and employment.
The latter agreement was signed on Tuesday, May 31 in the northern French city of Valenciennes, in a ceremony attended by Emmanuel Macron, French Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Technology, and Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France region in northern France. Ross McInnes, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Safran, signed the agreement on behalf of the Group, after participating in a roundtable on ?Objective: reindustrialization for the Hauts-de-France region.?
This location was not chosen by chance, as Ross McInnes explained: ?We are very aware of the importance of contributing to the redeployment of a highly strategic business and skills set.? He subsequently added: ?It is very important for us at Safran to preserve local expertise, as shown by the success of our facilities in Commercy and Fougres.?
The original Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create this joint company was signed on May 24 at the Elyse presidential palace in Paris by Philippe Petitcolin, Chief Executive Officer of Safran, and Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air France KLM, in a ceremony attended by French President Franois Hollande.
The new company?s production site will span 15,000 square meters in the Sars et Rosire business part in the community of Porte du Hainaut (Hauts-de-France region). Starting operation in early 2018, it will deploy the latest high-technology repair processes (laser welding, plasma projection, automated measurements, etc.). It will also conserve the jobs of some Vallourec employees, since the company announced the closing of its Valenciennes plant, by offering a retraining program lasting one year. The business should reach full production capacity by 2020, enabling the hiring of 200 to 250 employees.
*The Memorandum of Understanding, signed at the Palais de l?Elyse on May 24, concerns the creation of a jointly-owned company dedicated to the repair of aircraft engine compressor blades. The company will specifically target CFM56 engines from CFM International (powering the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families), the GE90 from GE (Boeing 777) and the GP7200 from the Engine Alliance (Airbus A380).
**Vallourec is a leading manufacturer of seamless steel tubes and dedicated tube solutions, intended primarily for the energy sector (oil, gas, electricity), as well as industry (mechanics, automotive, construction).
- © Cyril Abad / CAPA Pictures / Safran