Rolls-Royce to build engine plant in Poland

By bne IntelliNews November 29, 2016

The UK company Rolls-Royce will build a factory producing aeroplane engines in Poland, the finance and development minister said on November 29.

The confirmation comes after a large Polish government delegation met with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who is seeking to build stronger relationships with EU member states as she prepares to lead her country out of the EU. The deal also comes as international suppliers eye opportunities to partake in a massive programme to modernise the Polish military.

Rolls-Royce will build the factory in Ropczyce in south-eastern Poland, where a number of aviation industry companies already operate, deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told PAP. The company will also invest in a research and development unit, he said.

The investment could create 3,000 jobs, the official - who was handed the keys to the Polish economy in September when he was appointed finance minister to accompany his development ministry portfolio - claimed.

The investment should win points for the Polish government, which took power late last year after a campaign that accenturated, among other issues, the need for more industrial investment in Poland. Warsaw has recently torn up a contract with Airbus for the supply of military helicopters, stating the move was made because the French company does not have a local production facility.

State-controlled Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) announced on November 28 that it as signed a cooperation agreement with Rolls-Royce, which is one of the world’s largest suppliers of engines for commercial and military maritime, aerospace and energy applications.

Warsaw's decision to scrap the deal with Airbus infuriated Paris, but has raised interest in Poland's plan to modernise its military amongst competitiors. The country is set to spend PLN130bn (€30bn) on modernising its army over the next six years, as it eyes what it views as Russia's renewed imperial ambition and suggestions from US president-elect Donald Trump that Nato may not back up members that do not spend enough on defence.

“This is an advanced product. Rolls Royce is the world's second largest manufacturer of aircraft engines,” Morawiecki noted.

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