SAEI Unveils Progress On Giant Saudi MRO Facility

Saudi Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) says its new $1 billion maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility will be open for business by the end of 2016.

DUBAI—Saudi Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) says its new $1 billion maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility will be open for business by the end of 2016.

Based at King Abdul-Aziz Airport in Jedda, the site—measuring 1 million square meters—is 60% complete, and is aimed at both civil and military customers. “We are planning to serve the region, and we believe there is a lot of business,” SAEI CEO Nader Khalawi has said.

The main site will incorporate eight D check-capable hangars divided equally between single- and twin-aisle aircraft. In addition, the site will include a large single-span hangar for line maintenance, a paint hangar and engine shop with three test cells capable of handling engines up to 150,000-lb. thrust. The site will also incorporate an extensive series of 28 component shops to repair and overhaul avionics and systems. Military service work will be undertaken in a secure, ITAR-compliant area of the facility, Khalawi said.

The facility builds on “almost 56 years of operating experience, with technical service of Saudi Arabian Airlines across 28 stations in Saudi Arabia,” Khalawi said. The MRO site was developed under a joint venture (JV) led by Turkey’s TAV, Al Rajhi and the Al Habtoor Leighton Group.

Opening the site will enable SAEI to offer a greatly expanded MRO capability beyond its current offering, which is principally dedicated to supporting Saudi Arabian Airlines. In advance of the opening, SAEI says the company has already secured SR 5.3 billion in contracts with Saudi Arabian and third-party companies.

In a separate development, Abu Dhabi-based development company Mubadala and GE Aviation are forming a JV MRO for the GEnx engine that powers Boeing 787 and 747-8 aircraft. The new venture builds upon the 2013 maintenance partnership between Mubadala and GE, and includes the establishment of a regional state-of-the-art MRO facility to be set up at the Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park, as well as a direct investment by GE in this new venture. GE will set up a dedicated GEnx parts logistics center to service the JV and regional operators of the GEnx.

TAGS: Middle East
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