- Plans to invest as much as $40 million in next 18 months
- Blades and components are used in company's newest engines
Pratt & Whitney plans to invest more money in Singapore after opening its first factory in the city to make blades for the latest engines used in A320neo aircraft, boosting the nation’s ambition as an aerospace manufacturing hub.
Pratt & Whitney plans to spend as much as $40 million on factory equipment in Singapore in the next 18 months, Danny Di Perna, senior vice president for operations, said in an interview before the facility’s official opening Monday. That’s in addition to the $110 million the East Hartford, Connecticut-based aerospace engine maker has already invested in two buildings -- the new factory and one for engine repairs that opened in 2014, he said.
“Singapore is not traditionally labeled as a lower cost manufacturing source,” Di Perna said ahead of the Singapore Airshow, which starts Tuesday. “This is a high tech, highly skilled, highly educated workforce.”
Pratt & Whitney employs more than 2,000 people in Singapore and Di Perna said it plans to hire about 100 more for the new facility making hybrid metallic blades and components. The investments by the unit of United Technologies Corp.are a boon for the city, which is developing an industrial park adjacent to its Seletar airport in a bid to position itself as an aerospace hub amid rising demand for air travel in Asia. Rolls Royce Holdings Plc already has an engine-making facility in Seletar.
The blades are used in Pratt & Whitney’s new PurePower aircraft engines used in narrowbodies such as Bombardier Inc.’s C Series and Embraer SA’s E-Jets E2, in addition to the Airbus aircraft.