Abu Dhabi business will launch composites production in 2010

Strata, which has partnerships with EADS and others, is expected to begin composites manufacturing in 2010, with expansion to follow.

The Emirates News Agency reported on June 15 that Mubadala Development Co. (Abu Dhabi), the development and investment company that is a catalyst for the economic diversification of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, announced that construction of its Abu Dhabi Composites plant will start within two weeks and that the plant will be operational in 2010.

The report says the new plant will be called Strata. Construction of phase one, a 21,600-sq-m/232,500-sq-ft facility, will begin on June 29, with the manufacture of advanced composite aerostructures beginning in fourth quarter 2010. Subsequent phases of expansion are planned to provide a total facility of more than 60,000-sq-m/645,834 sq-ft over the next few years.

The report says Strata has formed industrial partnerships with leading aerospace companies EADS, Airbus, FACC and Alenia Aeronautica, through which composite aerostructure manufacturing programs will be established in the new plant. Initial contracts with these partners carrying a total value in excess of $2 billion (USD) have already been finalized. The news service says the plant will manufacture advanced composite aerostructures, including flap track fairings, ailerons, spoilers and assemblies for Airbus aircraft and the empennage for the ATR Regional Aircraft (ATR is a joint venture between EADS and Finmeccanica).

Initially the facility will focus on manufacturing composite components and assemblies, but will progressively build capabilities that include engineering, design and research and development.

Ross Bradley, the former Farnborough Aerospace Consortium chief executive who joined Mubadala Aerospace in October 2008, is CEO of Strata and leads a senior management team. "The construction of this plant is a crucial step for Abu Dhabi in achieving its ambition for Strata to become a Tier One supplier for the next generation of civil aircraft during the next decade and beyond," commented Homaid Al Shemmari, Mubadala Aerospace associate director, according to the report.

The report says Strata will employ 500 people between 2010 and 2014. This number will rise to more than 1,000 by 2020.

Information: Click here for original Emirates News Agency report.