Will Vietnam become a manufacturing center for airplane parts?
Universal Alloy Corporation (UAC) from the US on March 29 kicked off construction of the $170 million aerospace part factory, Sunshine, in Da Nang Hi-tech Park.
The factory, the first of its kind in Vietnam, will produce and install aerospace components from aluminum alloys and composites to serve the aerospace industry. It will churn out 4,000 out of the 5 million aircraft components, mostly for fuselage, and all of its products will be exported.
The investor hopes to obtain export value of $25 million in 2021, $85 million a year later and over $180 million annually after 2026.
In late 2018 Hanwha, the only aviation engine manufacturer in South Korea, and one of the 10 companies with advanced technologies in the world, opened the first aircraft component factory in Vietnam in Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park.
Also in 2018, Airbus sent a letter to the government of Vietnam and the Ministry of Transport (MOT), mentioning a plan to cooperate with Vietnam to develop the aviation industry.
With many multi-national groups having set up aircraft component factories in Vietnam, the country now has great opportunities to become an aircraft component center.
In the letter, the US aircraft manufacturer said it is willing to set up a production center in Vietnam together with one of its industry partners.
This will be the only unit in Southeast Asia which specializes in making electric safety belts to be used for Airbus A320. A process of material management, production, examining and hand-over will be implemented by Airbus in Vietnam.
Prior to that, Airbus chose Nikkiso Vietnam for making aircraft components for the bestselling plane, the A320. Nikkiso also began producing aircraft doors with carbon fiber compounds for Boeing 777 passenger aircraft in Hung Yen province and announced a plan to expand its investments.
Asked why UAC chose Da Nang, Kevin Loebbaka, CEO of UAC, said more than 30 percent of new orders for Boeing and Airbus are from Asia Pacific. Both Boeing and Airbus are pushing up their production activities in Asia and have shown big interest in UAC’s future production base in Da Nang.
Vietjet bought 65 Airbus A320s and A321s, while Bamboo Airways has six Airbus aircrafts. Vietnam will continue to develop aerospace production as it continues to boost sales for Vietnamese airlines.
Loebbaka praised the Vietnamese labor force, saying that workers have good math, science and outsourcing skills.
Analysts said that after becoming electronics production centers for the world’s electronics giants such as Samsung, Microsoft, LG and Canon, Vietnam now has the opportunity to become an aircraft component production base.