GE engines deal signed and sealed
The government has inked an investment deal with General Electric Aviation for the building of a plant to develop, test and produce turboprop engines in the Czech Republic. The height of the investment to be made in constructing the plant – a site for which should be selected during the first half of 2017 – should reach a minimum CZK 1.35bn.
In connection with the GE Aviation investment, the government has, among other things, pledged to inject nearly CZK 2bn between 2016 and 2018 to finance preparations for the development of new turboprop engines at the Czech Technical University in Prague [ČVUT]. The university čvutis planning a cooperation with General Electric.
GE Aviation, a division of U.S.-based conglomerate General Electric, plans to invest an overall CZK 9.8bn in developing new aircraft engines in European factories, with a substantial part of that being earmarked for the Czech Republic. The total investment in this country is therefore set to be lower than the originally indicated figure of nearly 10 billion crowns.
The Czech plant is expected to launch production of turboprop engines in 2022. At full output it is to manufacture more than 400 engines annually. The investment deal was signed by industry and trade minister Jan Mládek (Social Democrat), CzechInvest director Karel Kučera and GE International vice-president John Rice.
Mládek hailed the agreement as a turning point in attracting foreign investment to the Czech Republic. The government now wants to focus on similar projects, which deliver well-paid work and higher added-value, he said. The GE Aviation plant will create 500 jobs, thus doubling the number of the company’s employees in this country.