Scion Industrial Engineering

Saudi, French firms ink deal to set up aircraft parts manufacturing hub

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has signed a joint venture agreement to build a high-precision manufacturing facility in the kingdom to produce aircraft components.

The deal with France’s FIGEAC AÉRO Group and the Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company (Dussur) will establish SAMI FIGEAC AÉRO Manufacturing.

The announcement was made during the Saudi-French Investment Forum held on the sidelines of the visit of the President of France Emmanuel Macron to Saudi Arabia.

The joint venture aims to develop Saudi Arabia’s aerostructure manufacturing capabilities, train Saudi engineers and technicians to work as part of the project, and boost the localisation of military and civil aerospace industries in line with Saudi Vision 2030, a statement said.

Initial products will focus on machining and processing of light alloy (aluminum) and hard metal (titanium) aerospace parts, it added.

Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb, chairman of SAMI, said: “By creating a distinctive partnership between local companies and a leading international player, we aim to accelerate the localisation of advanced technologies in the aerostructures domain.

“In doing so, we shall also increase investment flows and create high-quality job opportunities for Saudi youth, in line with the targets outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.”

Walid Abukhaled, CEO of SAMI, added: “Together, the three signatories will collaborate with Saudi authorities and regulators to identify opportunities for the transfer of technology and expertise to the kingdom, enhancing the local content and creating exciting opportunities in both the commercial and military aerostructure manufacturing industries.”

Jean-Claude Maillard, chairman and CEO of FIGEAC AÉRO, said: “Our shareholding… will be a minor one, but the Saudi company’s future investments will be backed by robust local and state banking partners. We will have a crucial role to play in laying the foundations of Saudi Arabia’s future aerospace industry.”

Raed Al-Rayes, CEO of Dussur, added: “This joint venture marks an important milestone in developing the industrial metals value chains in its highest application, aerospace.”

The joint venture follows the signing of a memorandum of agreement in 2019 at the International Paris Airshow.

Over a 10-year period, the project will encompass a series of major investments including the launch of a new production facility in Jeddah.

Phase one involves ramping up the facility, which is scheduled to be completed by 2024 with an investment of about $50 million and aiming to generate $10 million revenue by the end of 2024.