Partnership expands UAE’s industrial capabilities with high-tech carbon fiber prepreg manufacturing facility in Al Ain
Facility to be commissioned in 2020 and to anchor a growing advanced manufacturing sector
Agreement executed via a first-of-its-kind blockchain technology
Brussels/Dubai, November 12, 2017--- Solvay, an international materials and chemicals company, and Strata, an advanced composite aerostructures manufacturing facility, 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 Solvay’s entry into advanced materials manufacturing in the UAE, and Mubadala’s entry into advanced materials manufacturing for the aerospace industry through its wholly owned business, Strata Manufacturing.
“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, said: “This is another ‘made in the UAE’ success story for Strata and its shareholder, Mubadala. We are 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.
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Solvay is a multi-specialty chemical company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers in diverse global end markets. Its products and solutions are used in planes, cars, smart and medical devices, batteries, in mineral and oil extraction, among many other applications promoting sustainability. Its lightweighting materials enhance cleaner mobility, its formulations optimize the use of resources and its performance chemicals improve air and water quality. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with around 27,000 employees in 58 countries. Net sales were € 10.9 billion in 2016, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world’s top 3 leaders. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR) and in the United States its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a level-1 ADR program.