GE Aviation and CzechInvest held a supplier forum on 19 April at GE Aviation Czech’s headquarters in Prague’s Letňany district. In the course of the forum, eighteen Czech firms preselected based on their experience with the aerospace industry, among other factors, were vying for the opportunity to supply components for GE Aviation’s Advance Turboprop (ATP) engine. GE aviation and the Czech government signed an investment agreement on construction of the company’s unique centre for development, testing and production of the engine in autumn last year.
“The supplier forum is an important milestone in building the local ecosystem of subcontractors and partner firms. The participating firms will have the opportunity to become not only suppliers for the most advanced turboprop aircraft engine to date, but also suppliers for the entire GE Aviation Group,” says Norman Baker, president and COO of GE Aviation Czech, Business and General Aviation Turboprops.
“We have extensive experience with organising similar supplier forums. We have organised dozens of them for companies such as Aston Martin, Honeywell and Samsung SDI Battery Systems. This is a potential business opportunity worth hundreds of millions of crowns. We offer suppliers to investors from our unique sectoral database of suppliers, which we are continually expanding with new firms,” says Karel Kučera, CEO of CzechInvest.
Out of the fifty potential suppliers identified by CzechInvest, GE Aviation selected the 18 firms that best fulfil its criteria with respect to the quality and construction of parts and that offer components manufactured on CNC machines and machining centres, precision castings and forged pieces and working of sheet metal made of high-strength, heat-resistant materials. At the supplier forum, companies have presented their products and subsequently hold more detailed discussions with particular specialists from GE Aviation. The firms ultimately selected by GE Aviation will not only provide components for production of turboprop engines in the Czech Republic, but will also get the opportunity to collaborate on production of the company’s aircraft engines in the United States.
The location of the planned centre has not yet been decided. However, due to the fact that GE Aviation Czech has had its facilities in Prague’s Letňany district for the past eight years, the centre will most probably be placed in the Central Bohemia region.