By mid next year, India would produce carbon fibre based aeronautical components such as the whole body and wingspan of light and ultra light aircraft and vertical tail wing of large commercial planes.
Germany’s Saertex, a world leader in carbon and glass fibre production has entered into a joint venture agreement with Gujarat based publicly listed Kemrock Industries to manufacture carbon fibre at a new factory to be set up at Vadodara.
Carbon fibre, which is five times stronger than steel and much lighter, is used in the production of the whole body of smaller planes with capacity to fly two to six people. Such raw material is in demand from all over the world from manufacturers of lightweight and fuel efficient aircraft. According to company officials this plant would be the first of kind in India.
“When operational, we will have 200 people working at the plant. This will have capacity to manufacture 300 light and ultra aircraft per year for overseas clients, ” said P K C Bose MD and CEO, Saertex India.
“We already have received an order from a Spanish aircraft manufacturer. We will build the whole aircraft, except the engine, the cockpit and other fittings. We will also supply carbon fibre to Airbus for the vertical tail wing of A 321 and A380,” he added.
This 50:50 joint venture project will be equally funded. The first phase of the project involves an investment of Rs 70 crore (10 million Euro) and would be funded through a mix of debt and equity. While Saertax will provide equity and technology for this project, Kemrock will provide necessary infrastructure and equity.
“We have a vision to set up a global ‘composite village’ in India. This joint venture is part of our vision to partner with global leaders in design, development and manufacturing of niche technology especially on carbon fibre based aeronautical components,” said Kalpesh Patel, CMD, Kemrock Industries.