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Boeing, Safran Agree to Design, Build and Service Auxiliary Power Units

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Boeing, Safran Agree to Design, Build and Service Auxiliary Power Units

New joint venture will leverage capabilities of two aerospace leaders to combine the best technologies and services for customers
Proposed long-term partnership will create a competitive offering designed to meet market needs

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Safran [EPA: SAF] have agreed to jointly design, build and service Auxiliary Power Units (APUs), creating better value for customers and for both companies. An APU is an onboard engine that is used to primarily start the main engines and power aircraft systems on the ground and, if necessary, in flight.

The agreement will establish an important relationship between two of the world’s leading aerospace companies to work together on products and expanded service capabilities to benefit both customers and the industry at large. Both companies will have a 50 percent stake in the partnership, which will be based in the United States. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary conditions including regulatory and antitrust clearance. The deal is expected to close in the second-half of 2018.

“This strategic partnership will leverage Boeing’s deep customer and airplane knowledge along with Safran’s experience in designing and producing complex propulsion assemblies to deliver expanded, innovative services solutions to our customers,” said Stan Deal, President and CEO, Boeing Global Services.

Safran currently supplies a wide range of components to Boeing commercial and defense programs, including as a partner to produce CFM’s LEAP-1B engine for the 737 MAX (through CFM International, a 50/50 JV between Safran Aircraft Engines and GE). Boeing and Safran also are partners in MATIS, a joint venture in Morocco producing wiring products for several airframe and engine companies.

“This will represent a new step in the long-lasting and fruitful partnership between Safran and Boeing. We are extremely proud of the continued confidence that Boeing has placed in our company. Safran has contributed to prestigious international military and civil programs, providing reliable, high-performance APU systems since 1962. Together we are committed to delivering advanced APUs and world-class support to our customers,” said Philippe Petitcolin, Chief Executive Officer of Safran. “This partnership will have no impact on our 2018 guidance nor on our plan to return Euro 2.3 billion cash to shareholders over 18 to 24 months.”

“This move will strengthen Boeing’s vertical capabilities as we continue to expand our services portfolio and make strategic investments that accelerate our growth plans,” said Greg Smith, Boeing Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Enterprise Performance & Strategy. “The establishment of the joint venture will have no impact on Boeing’s 2018 guidance or on our commitment to returning approximately 100 percent of free cash flow to shareholders.”

Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aircraft propulsion and equipment, space and defense markets. Safran has a global presence, with more than 58,000 employees and sales of 16.5 billion euros in 2017. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes Research & Development programs to meet fast-changing market requirements, with total R&D expenditures of around 1.4 billion euros in 2017. Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices. In February 2018, Safran took control of Zodiac Aerospace, significantly expanding its aircraft equipment activities. Zodiac Aerospace has 32,500 employees and generated sales of 5.1 billion euros for its fiscal year ended August 31, 2017.

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial airplanes and defense, space and security systems. Boeing is also the world leader in combined commercial airlines and government services with customers in more than 150 countries. The company’s products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training. Boeing employs approximately 140,000 people across the United States and in more than 65 countries.

Forward-Looking Information Is Subject to Risk and Uncertainty

Certain statements in this release may be “forward-looking” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the expected timetable for completing the transaction, future business prospects, and benefits and synergies of the transaction, as well as any other statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Forward-looking statements are based on current assumptions about future events that may not prove to be accurate.

These statements are not guarantees and are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Many factors could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements. As a result, these statements speak only as of the date they are made and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, except as required by law. Specific factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include the effect of global economic conditions, the ability of the parties to consummate the transaction and receive antitrust clearance, and other important factors disclosed previously and from time to time in reports filed by Boeing and Safran with their respective agencies.

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Car sector seeks more UK government support as output tumbles

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Car sector seeks more UK government support as output tumbles 1

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak should use next week’s budget statement to help boost the car industry’s competitiveness, a trade industry body said on Friday, as production tumbled to its lowest January level since 2009.

Sunak is due to detail how he will further support the economy amid COVID-19 restrictions on March 3.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the furlough scheme that protects jobs should be extended, more support for training was needed and manufacturing investment should be encouraged through reform of the business rates tax.

“Next week’s budget is the chancellor’s (finance minister) opportunity to boost the industry by introducing measures that will support competitiveness, jobs and livelihoods,” SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said.

“We need to secure our medium to long-term future by creating the conditions that will attract battery gigafactory investment and transform the supply chain.”

Output in January fell by 27% year-on-year to 86,052 vehicles, hit by factors including dealership closures during a latest COVID-19 lockdown, international supply chain problems and the change in trading terms with the European Union.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by William Schomberg)

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Exclusive: Portugal sees green hydrogen output by end-2022, $12 billion in investment lined up

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Exclusive: Portugal sees green hydrogen output by end-2022, $12 billion in investment lined up 2

By Sergio Goncalves

LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal will start producing green hydrogen by the end of 2022 and already has private investment worth around 10 billion euros ($12 billion) lined up for eight projects that are expected to move forward, Environment Minister Joao Matos Fernandes said.

He told Reuters in a telephone interview there were also several “pre-contracts for the purchase and assembly of electrolysers” to produce the zero-carbon fuel made by electrolysis out of water using renewable wind and solar energy.

Such hydrogen is more expensive to extract than the heavily polluting conventional method of using heat and chemical reactions to release hydrogen from coal or natural gas, known as brown and grey hydrogen respectively.

Hydrogen is now mostly used in the oil refining industry and to produce ammonia fertilisers, but sectors such as steelmaking, transportation and chemicals are beginning to develop large-scale hydrogen applications to gradually replace fossil fuels as countries try to reduce pollution.

The European Commission has mapped out a plan to scale up green hydrogen projects across polluting sectors to meet a net zero emissions goal by 2050 and become a leader in a market analysts expect to be worth $1.2 trillion by that date.

“By the end of 2022, there will certainly be green hydrogen production in Portugal,” Matos Fernandes said. “Green hydrogen will, over time, allow Portugal to completely change its paradigm and become an energy exporting country.”

He said seven groups had submitted applications under Europe’s IPCEI scheme for common-interest projects to make part of a planned export-oriented “hydrogen cluster” near the port of Sines, from where hydrogen could be shipped to Rotterdam. Total investment there is estimated at some 7 billion euros.

A consortium including Portugal’s main utility EDP, oil company Galp, world’s largest wind turbine maker Vestas, among others, is behind one of the projects.

In Estarreja in north Portugal, local firm Bondalti Chemicals aims to invest 2.4 billion euros in a hydrogen plant.

Altogether, these envisage an installed capacity of over 1,000 megawatts (MW).

Matos Fernandes said Portugal was also negotiating with Spain the construction of a pipeline for renewable gases, including hydrogen, from Sines to France, crossing Spain.

LITHIUM PLANS

Spain and Portugal also want to develop an ambitious cross-border lithium project taking advantage of the geographical proximity of their lithium deposits and aiming to cover the entire value chain from mining to refining, cell and battery manufacturing to battery recycling, he said.

Portugal is already a large producer of low-grade lithium mainly for the ceramics industry, but is preparing to make higher-grade metal used in electric car batteries.

A much-awaited licensing tender for lithium-bearing areas that has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic should take place by the year-end, Matos Fernandes said.

He promised the tender would address environmental concerns by local communities and there would be no lithium mining “at any cost”.

The minister also said Portugal would use its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union to finalise a landmark law that would make the bloc’s climate targets irreversible and speed up emissions cuts this decade, expecting it to be approved in the first half of 2021.

(Reporting by Sergio Goncalves; Editing by Andrei Khalip and David Evans)

 

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Under fire in EU, AstraZeneca CEO says ‘hopefully’ will meet vaccine supply goals

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Under fire in EU, AstraZeneca CEO says 'hopefully' will meet vaccine supply goals 3

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot said on Thursday he hoped to meet the European Union’s expectations on the number of COVID-19 vaccines the company can deliver to the bloc in the second quarter, after big cuts in the first three months of the year.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker has been under fire in the EU for its delayed supplies of shots to the 27-nation bloc, which ordered 300 million doses by the end of June.

“We are working 24/7 to improve delivery and hopefully catch up to the expectations for Q2,” Soriot told EU lawmakers in a public hearing.

Under its contract with the EU, the company has committed to delivering 180 million doses in the second quarter.

Soriot did not mention the 180 million target, but said he was confident the company will be able to increase production in the second quarter using factories outside the EU that had no production problems, including in the United States.

He confirmed the company was trying to get 40 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the EU by the end of March, which is less than half the amount it promised for the quarter in its contract.

The EU, which has fallen far behind the United States and former member Britain in vaccinating its public, has repeatedly urged the firm to deliver more.

Lower-than-expected yields – the amount of vaccine that can be produced from base ingredients – at its factories hurt output in the first three months.

Asked about supplies to Britain, which relies on the same factories used by the EU, Soriot said the former EU member with a population of around 66 million was smaller, and noted that most doses produced in the EU were used to serve the EU which has a population of about 450 million.

Executives from rival drugmakers that have developed or are testing COVID-19 vaccines, including Moderna Inc and CureVac NV were also part of the panel.

But most questions were directed at Soriot amid anger that the company has failed to deliver promised vaccine quantities to the bloc on schedule.

Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said the company has experienced fluctuations as the U.S. biotech group ramps up output of its COVID-19 vaccine.

He said usually a company would stockpile product ahead of a launch, but it is shipping every dose it makes, leaving it without any spare inventory.

His comments came a day after the company increased its output target for this year and 2022 as it invests in additional manufacturing capacity.

(Reporting by Josephine Mason in London and Francesco Guarascio in Brussels; Editing by Susan Fenton, Bill Berkrot and Keith Weir)

 

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