Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Strata, the advanced composite aerostructures manufacturing facility, and Solvay, an international materials and chemicals company, have formalized their Joint Venture (JV) to supply Boeing with advanced composite materials from a high-tech facility to be built in Al Ain. Following the signature of the JV agreement, the parties will seek anti-trust approvals.
The equal ownership joint venture will be the UAE’s first supplier of pre-impregnated carbon fibers, also referred to as “prepreg.” This durable advanced material is used to manufacture composite structures for aviation applications, including Boeing’s latest generation aircraft, the 777X.
The partnership marks Mubadala’s entry into advanced materials manufacturing for the aerospace industry through Strata, its wholly owned business, and Solvay’s entry into advanced materials manufacturing in the UAE.
“Over the last ten years, Mubadala has helped to create an advanced and sustainable aerospace industry in line with Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification vision,” said Khaled Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Chief Executive Officer, Aerospace, Renewables and ICT, Mubadala. “This agreement with Solvay fits perfectly with our growth strategy, focusing as it does on high-tech manufacturing capabilities, and demonstrates our commitment to providing competitive offerings to the world’s leading OEMs.”
“This joint venture showcases Solvay’s capabilities in advanced aerospace composite technologies, including for aircraft primary structures as a growth pillar for our materials business,” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay.
The new, approximately 8,500 square meter facility will supply Boeing with carbon fiber prepreg for primary structure applications in its new 777X program. Solvay’s prepreg technology consists of fiber reinforcements pre-impregnated with a resin matrix to manufacture composite parts, providing exceptional performance at lower weight compared to metal structures.
Badr Al-Olama, Chairman of Strata Manufacturing and Director of Aerospace, Mubadala, said: “This is another ‘made in the UAE’ success story for Strata and its shareholder, Mubadala. We’re incredibly proud to be an integral part of the global aerospace supply chain, and to expand on our partnership with Boeing through this exciting entry into advanced materials manufacturing.”
“Solvay will bring its technical expertise in advanced composite materials into this partnership and build on its longstanding business relationship with Boeing to turn this partnership into a success,” said Carmelo Lo Faro, President of Solvay’s Composite Materials Global Business Unit (GBU).
The composite content of next-generation aircraft continues to grow as manufacturers of large commercial aircraft aim to reduce weight, improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.