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28 AsianAviation | APRIL 2012
Ten years a er it went into operation in the fast-
growing Chinese market, MTU Maintenance Zhuhai
is further expanding in order to maintain market share
and potentially enter into new engine models.
e engine MRO rm is a 50-50 joint venture
between MTU Aero Engines and China Southern - a
relationship which is proving to be mutually bene cial.
"Whenever they purchase a new aircra , they also
immediately apply for an engine licence. We join forces
- MTU is immediately involved," explains Holger
Sindemann, president & CEO of MTU Maintenance
Zhuhai. "China Southern has strong leverage."
e Guangzhou-based carrier is the biggest customer
of engine manufacturer IAE in China,
Sindemann notes. e carrier operates
both Airbus and Boeing narrowbodies,
A330s and A380s, 777s and, once
delivered, the 787.
This could open up possibilities
in the widebody engine market, as
Sindemann is not slow to point out.
China Southern s A380s are powered by
the Engine Alliance GP7000. e 787s
will be powered by GE s GEnx.
Handling widebody engines would
be no problem for MTU Maintenance
Zhuhai, says Sindemann, noting that
the facility has a test cell with 150,000lb
of thrust -- which gives it the capability
to induct even the world s largest and
most powerful commercial engine, the
ere are also plenty of opportunities
in the narrowbody market - MTU has
partnered with Pratt and Whitney on
the geared turbofan that powers the
A320neo. "We hope to build-up our
position in the narrowbody market,"
says Sindemann. ere is also the distinct possibility
of work from Chinese manufacturer Comac - MTU
Aero Engines is in talks with AVIC Commercial
Aircra Engine (ACAE) on a possible locally-built
engine alternative for the C919.
In the meantime, there s plenty to be getting on
with. e huge growth in narrowbody aircra in
the Chinese market has been a boon for MTU
Maintenance Zhuhai, which is operating close to its
technical capacity of 200 shop visits per year. "We are
hitting the roof," says Sindemann. Consequently, the
facility is being expanded to increase potential capacity
by 50% to 300 annual shop visits.
e facility has a length of 190 metres, divided into
three units, each 24 metres deep. e rst of these is
devoted to special processes, while the second two
handle the engine maintenance, where engines are
disassembled into modules, worked on, and then
By the middle of this year, a fourth unit will be
added, adding another 24 metres by 190 metres for
engine maintenance and repair, which will take the
engine shop capacity up to 300 units.
is comes on the back of relatively recent expansion.
In 2010 a new multi-function plant was opened, partly
for sorting out ser viceable parts from non-serviceable.
Also added were a humidi ed engine storage area and
a 600 square metre training area, which includes space
for practical training.
e current portfolio is based around the IAE
V2500-A5 engine, with a market share of 80% within
China according to Sindemann, and the CFM56-3,
-5B and -7 engines, where the market share is around
one-third. While the CFM56-3 is decreasing in terms
of numbers, the -5B, -7 and V2500 are all increasing
and will keep MTU Maintenance Zhuhai busy for the
next ten years, says Sindemann.
Sindemann points to the location of Zhuhai as
ideal for the Chinese market. e Guangzhou base of
partner China Southern is down the road, while Hong
Kong as an international freight airport is just a stone s
Sindemann estimates that around half of the
company s engines come from China Southern,
with around 25-30% from Greater China and 20-
25% from outside of China. It s this international
business that has the biggest potential for the shop,
The firm has 17 approvals from regulatory
authorities including the FAA, EASA and Japanese
regulator JCAB. Sindemann points out that MTU
Maintenance Zhuhai is the only engine MRO
workshop in China with approval from JCAB for
the CFM56-3. "Including internal audits, we have
around two audits a week," says Sindemann - the price
MTU Maintenance Zhuhai sees further opportunities
in the Chinese engine market, writes Colin Baker
Holger Sindemann, president & CEO of MTU
The huge growth in narrowbody aircraft in the Chinese
market has been a boon for MTU Maintenance Zhuhai,
which is operating close to its technical capacity of
200 shop visits per year. "We are hitting the roof," says
"Whenever they purchase a new aircraft, they also immediately
apply for an engine licence. We join forces - MTU is immediately
involved," Holger Sindemann, president & CEO, MTU Maintenance
MTU AERO ENGINES
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