Thursday 16 February 2012

Rolls-Royce set to contribute S$1.7 billion to Singapore's GDP with new facility at Seletar Aerospace Park

By Hetty Musfirah, Channel NewsAsia, 13 Feb 2012

Singapore crossed a milestone in its effort to become a leading aviation hub, with the opening of Rolls-Royce's largest facility in Asia.

The facility at Seletar Aerospace Park costs S$700 million.

The 65,000-square meter campus includes a training unit and a research and development facility.

It's for Trent engine assembly and test, training, research and development, as well as wide chord fan blade manufacturing.

With this investment, Rolls-Royce is projected to contribute some S$1.7 billion (0.5 per cent) to Singapore's Gross Domestic Product by 2015.

The move is set to create some 500 jobs.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: "Asia's aviation industry is expected to see strong growth,"

"Over the next two decades, Asia's fleet is expected to triple. And as a share of global fleet, Asia's fleet will also rise from less than a quarter now, to more than a third.

"It enables Singapore to play a key role in supplying aircraft engines for the latest jets such as the A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner."

It's the first time Rolls-Royce is manufacturing the critical component - the wide chord fan blade - outside its home in Derby, United Kingdom.

Rolls-Royce Southeast Asia regional director Jonathan Asherson said: "Singapore is close to our growing customer base in Asia, and that's an important factor, but otherwise, there is the availability of the technical skills that this kind of activity requires and Singapore's recognition of the importance of protecting intellectual property."

Speaking at the opening of the facility on Monday, PM Lee said the investment will enable Singapore to play a key role in supplying aircraft engines for latest jets like the A380 and B787 Dreamliner.

PM Lee said: "Rolls-Royce could have sited this campus anywhere in the world. But choosing Singapore reflects their confidence in our workforce and our future.

"We are deeply honoured by their trust and Singapore will do our part to help the campus succeed and to make this partnership flourish."

Ninety-five per cent of the positions created at the campus are skilled jobs, ranging from managerial positions, engineers, technician and production craftsmen.

Mr Lee said nearly all of the workers hired so far are locals.

Rolls-Royce said about 200 locals have been recruited so far.

Mr Lee said Rolls-Royce could have sited its campus anywhere in the world.

He said its decision to choose Singapore reflects its confidence in the country's workforce and future.

Mr Lee said Singapore will do its part to help the campus succeed and make the partnership flourish.

The facility will roll out its first trent engine - Trent 900 - to be shipped to Toulouse, France, in the third quarter this year.

At full capacity, the facility can produce up to 250 engines per year.

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