Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 June 2020

Abu Dhabi's Strata to expand Al Ain manufacturing facility for Boeing 787 jet parts

The move by the Mubadala-owned company is part of Abu Dhabi's efforts to expand its aerospace capabilities

A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at the Paris Air Show. Strata is expanding its 787 parts production facilities. Reuters
A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at the Paris Air Show. Strata is expanding its 787 parts production facilities. Reuters

Strata Manufacturing, a unit of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company, will expand its current facility for the assembly of Boeing 787 plane parts as the emirate looks to further develop its aerospace capabilities as part of its economic overhaul plan.

Strata, which makes composite aircraft parts, will modify its existing plant at Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park for the assembly of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner vertical fins, it said on Sunday. Under the terms of an agreement with Boeing, signed at the UK Farnborough Airshow in 2016, Strata will replicate the capabilities of the Boeing Salt Lake City 787 vertical fin assembly line to sub-assemble the parts at its Al Ain facility.

Strata's expanded facility is "an important milestone for the company to position it for the next phase of growth, as the technology-based expansion will be dedicated for the assembly of the B787 vertical fin assembly line", said Ismail Ali Abdulla, chief executive of Strata.

The company is the Arabian Gulf’s only active producer of aircraft components and is a key part of the UAE's efforts to diversify its economy away from oil as it builds its manufacturing base. Strata, which started operations in 2010, makes composite parts for jetliner wings and tail fins for Airbus A380 and A330 models, and vertical fin ribs for Boeing 777s and 787 Dreamliners.

"Our relationship with Boeing on the 787 project further solidifies Strata’s position as a direct supplier of primary aero structure components to Boeing Commercial Airplanes programmes," Mr Abdulla said.

Assembly is scheduled to start in 2020 and the parts will be shipped to North Charleston, South Carolina and then installed on 787 jet fuselages.

The UAE, one of the biggest customers of commercial planes, is seeking a bigger role as a global supplier in the aerospace chain.

"The expansion of their facilities is a significant commitment and investment by [the] UAE and Strata to advance their aerospace manufacturing capabilities and support their long-term economic vision,” said Bernard Dunn, president of Boeing Middle East North Africa and Turkey.

Boeing and Strata have worked closely together to expand the global supply of aerospace composites and to meet Boeing requirements for quality and affordability, Mr Dunn said.

Strata is sending key UAE-based engineers, leading the Al Ain manufacturing process, to the US to train at Boeing's facilities, the company said.

Boeing and Strata started the partnership in 2011, when Strata was first contracted as a Tier 1 supplier to the world's biggest plane maker.

Updated: July 7, 2019 04:23 PM



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