GE Aviation announced plans to invest almost $32 million in a new manufacturing operation in Singapore, where it will produce high-pressure compressor (HPC) vanes for GE9X engines. The 50,000-sq.ft. operation, budgeted at S$42 million according to a release, will open late this year and will employ up to 100 technicians by 2020.
"We are delighted to welcome GE Aviation's smart factory for engine components to Singapore," stated Alvin Tan, the administrator who heads the industrial development where GE will locate the new plant. "GE Aviation adds to our vibrant community at Seletar Aerospace Park, which is now home to the top three aero-engine manufacturers in the world and a growing ecosystem of local suppliers."
GE Aviation currently has about 1,800 employees at a separate, engine-component repair center in Singapore.
The GE9X is a 100,000-lb. thrust, high-bypass turbofan engine developed specifically for the Boeing 777-8X/9X aircraft by GE Aviation, IHI Corporation, Safran, and MTU Aero Engines AG. According to GE Aviation, the engine will have the largest front fan among commercial aircraft engines (134 in. diameter), with a composite fan case and 16 carbon fiber-composite fan blades. The developer noted that has booked nearly 700 GE9X engines orders to date.
Last year Singapore Airlines ordered 20 Boeing 777-9X jets as part of a $13.8-billion order for new aircraft, and at the same time the carrier placed an order reported to be worth $2.0 billion to GE Aviation for 45 GE9X engines
The 777X will be a redesigned version of the current 777, the long-range, wide-body jet that is the world’s largest twin-engine aircraft. It will be available in three models, the 777-8X, 777-9X, and 777-10X, with the first aircraft due to enter service in 2019.
"The GE9X engine that will power the Boeing 777X aircraft incorporates the most advanced technologies," stated Ted Ingling, general manager of the GE9X program. "With more than 700 engines sold to date, the manufacturing of components for the GE9X engine is a critical part of our production process, and this facility will play a key role."