Source : Telangana Today
Hyderabad: Battling stiff competition from Bengaluru, Chennai, NCR, Uttar Pradesh and a few other states, Telangana succeeded in getting French aviation, defence and space player Safran to announce the setting up its engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility for CFM LEAP engines in Hyderabad.
The MRO and the test bed will see an investment of $ 150 million (about 1,185 crore). It will be Safran’s largest MRO globally and also the largest in India. It will be about 35,000 sqm and will come up in the GMR Industrial Park at Shamshabad. The formal announcement for the new MRO came on Thursday when Industries and IT Minister KT Rama Rao inaugurated the Safran Aircraft Engines and Safran Electrical and Power factories at Shamshabad. The project holds national significance as it is the first MRO being established by a global OEM in India.
Safran also has digital technology unit Digit in Hyderabad to develop digital systems for Safran. In all, Safran now has four projects in Hyderabad with a total investment of $ 200 million (about Rs 1,580 crore). The French company had considered at least ten locations for the MRO before finalising Hyderabad due to the proactive support of the Telangana Government and presence of an enabling ecosystem. Rama Rao said Safran, which operated in a joint venture in India for 65 years, chose Hyderabad to venture on its own in India.
“Telangana held 35 meetings with officials of Safran in Hyderabad, Delhi and Paris. There have been more than 400 plus exchanges on mails and other communication channels to make the landing smooth for Safran. Our first dialogue started in 2018 and it was followed up by an MoU between Safran and the Telangana State Government,” he said.
Safran Electrical and Power was announced in March 2018 with $ 8 million (now about Rs 63 crore) investment. Production of wire harnesses for aircraft engines commenced in a record nine months and over 8,000 harnesses have been delivered so far. After seeing the support from Telangana Government and the quick turnaround time it experienced with its first project, Safran announced its second project, Safran Aircraft Engines, with an investment of $ 36 million (about Rs 285 crore) to manufacture components of LEAP turbofan engines. First deliveries from this happened in May 2022, Rama Rao said.
“We have been in discussion for the Safran Aeroengine MRO project since 2020 to address the various techno-commercial aspects of the project. They were telling us that we were competing with Bengaluru and Chennai. Telangana officials held meetings with airlines, the airport operator and other stakeholders to give confidence to Safran to get the MRO project to Hyderabad. Telangana also represented the GoI to rationalise GST on MRO to make the Indian MRO industry globally competitive,” Rama Rao said, adding that Telangana has plans to set up an aviation university as well in partnership with the industry.
Hyderabad International Airport’s terminal expansion is expected to be completed by December. “I was hoping that the Civil Aviation Minister would come. He had made some promises. Was hoping to remind the Ministry of Civil Aviation of more direct flights to France and continental US, so people can skip Delhi and come to Hyderabad,” he said.
“Through the creation of our largest maintenance and repair center for commercial engines we are also paving the way to expand our MRO activities in India to military engines. With three new production facilities and an IT centre, we will triple the number of employees in India over the next four years,” said Olivier Andriès, Chief Executive Officer of Safran.
“Our largest MRO centre will eventually offer an annual capacity of 250 to 300 engine shop visits. The LEAP and its predecessor, the CFM56, now power over 330 Airbus A320/A320neo and Boeing 737/737 MAX airplanes deployed by airlines in the Indian subcontinent. More than 1,500 LEAP engines are currently on order in the region,” said Jean-Paul Alary, Chief Executive Officer of Safran Aircraft Engines.
Industries Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan and Aviation Director Praveen PA were also present.