Safran, GE win multibillion dollar China plane deal

on December 21 2009 3:40 AM

French aerospace group Safran and U.S. conglomerate General Electric have won a multibillion dollar deal to provide the motor for China's new C919 plane, Safran said on Monday.

The contract was announced in Beijing by Safran Chief Executive Jean-Paul Herteman, who was among several French business leaders accompanying French Prime Minister Francois Fillon on a trip to China.

Herteman said the deal was worth an initial $5 billion each for Safran and its partner GE, who run the CFM International joint venture, but could ultimately be worth some $15 billion over 30-years.

The first part is worth around 5 billion. Afterwards with the services bit of the deal, such as maintenance and change, it could be worth three times or even more than that, but over a 30-year period, said Herteman.

Our Chinese partners reckon they can make 2,000 planes, Each time they make a plane, we'll be the suppliers, added Herteman.

The C919 plane is expected to be the largest passenger jet to be produced in China and is slated to start deliveries to customers in 2016. It would compete with similar planes made by EADS' Airbus and Boeing .

The first new generation engine will be made in 2012, certified in 2014 and will enter into service in 2016, said Herteman.

Safran shares closed at 12.91 euros on Friday, while GE ended down 1.3 percent at $15.59.

(Editing by Anshuman Daga and Jon Loades-Carter)

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