Vietnam’s first aircraft engine factory officially began production on Thursday morning, a milestone for the country’s aviation sector.
The factory’s opening was marked by an event attended by top Vietnamese officials, including deputy premier Truong Hoa Binh, many of whom shared their hopes that the plant will help put Vietnam’s on a par with countries who currently lead the aircraft technology industry.
The plant, operated by Hanwha Aero Engines Factory, is situated in Hanoi’s Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park, is designed to manufacture airplane engine components that meet international export standards.
Hanwha Group, one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates, invested US$200 million in the facility and completed the construction and installation of its assembly lines a little over a year after first breaking ground in September 2017.
After a test run, Hanwha Aero Engines Factory began mass production on Thursday and is expected to roll out its first products in January 2019.
The plant will create jobs for over a thousand people, provide high-quality training, and bring new and advanced aviation technology to Vietnam, according to Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park’s management.
|A Vietnamese worker operates an aircraft engine production line at the Hanwha Aero Engines Factory in Hanoi, Vietnam, December 6, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The factory is also expected to help develop the Southeast Asian country’s precision engineering sector, Hanwha's chairman Kim Seung Yeon said at the opening ceremony.
Hanwha Group is the only airplane engine corporation in South Korea and one of the top ten companies in the world in terms of its ability to produce advanced aviation technology, Kim said.
The corporation sent multiple Vietnamese engineers to South Korea for professional training and over 40 of its technicians are supporting 200 Vietnamese workers at the factory, the chairman said.
With 900 employees and investments projected to reach $370 million by 2024, Hanwha Aero Engines Factory hopes to become the role model for technology transference from South Korea to Vietnam, Kim added.
The involvement of Hanwha Group in Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park might also spur more foreign technology companies to gravitate to the area, Chu Ngoc Anh – head of Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology – said at the event.
Companies have so far committed to invest VND78 trillion ($3.35 billion) across 87 registered projects at the park, Anh said.