A Rolls-Royce factory in Rotherham will play a key part in a groundbreaking £800m order from an Indonesian airline, helping to safeguard 160 jobs.
The Advanced Blade Casting Facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park will make turbine blades for Trent 7000 engines ordered by Garuda Indonesia. They will be fitted to the airline’s 14 Airbus A330neo aircraft.
It is the first big order for the £110m factory which was officially opened in March last year and hailed the most advanced in the world.
Turbine blades operate in the hottest part of a jet engine. They are made from a super alloy comprised of nickel and small quantities of exotic metals such as rhenium.
A Rolls-Royce spokeswoman said: “This is great news as the stronger the order book the better that is for the company.”
Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce president of civil aerospace, said the deal stemmed from investing in innovation.
He added: “Indonesia has great economic prospects and we are committed to supporting its future growth in air travel.
“We are proud to power this latest expansion to their fleet with the latest member of our Trent engine family.
“We have benefited from UK investment in innovation across materials, aerodynamics, noise, control systems and manufacturing technologies.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This deal underlines the increasing importance of our ties with Indonesia – a fast growing economy and set to become the seventh largest in the world by 2030. We are the fifth biggest investor in Indonesia and our relationship has more untapped potential.
“We want to encourage more British businesses to seize on these opportunities.”
After being cast in Rotherham, the blades are shipped to Derby or the US for machining. A ceramic coating is applied before the are fitted in an engine in Derby.
Rolls says the Trent is the engine of choice in the wide body market. The Trent 7000 is set to enter service in 2017.