Employees chat on a platform next to a Boeing Co 737 MAX 9 jetliner at the manufacturing facility in Renton, Washington. Boeing is to construct a B737 and B737 MAX completion and delivery center in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province. [Photo/Agencies]
Boeing Co will start building a B737 and B737 MAX completion and delivery center in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, by the end of March, and is scheduled deliver the first aircraft in 2018.
The Zhoushan facility, located in eastern China near Shanghai, will consist of two parts: the B737 completion center, a joint venture between Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, and the B737 delivery center, which is wholly owned by Boeing.
"We are continuing to discuss plans for the facility with our joint venture partner and government officials, and we will announce more information at a later date," said Wang Yukui, Boeing China's vice-president of communications.
Boeing earlier said that the center will deliver 100 planes every year, and the US aircraft manufacturer will cooperate with more Chinese interior suppliers, and help them raise their capabilities and competencies, from raw materials to assembly.
The joint venture will cover cabin installation activities such as the setup of seats and in-flight entertainment systems, as well as painting, flight testing and aircraft maintenance.
By 2025, the aviation industrial park in Zhoushan will form an aviation industry chain, and assemble, deliver and modify more than 600 jets. The worth of annual output is expected to reach 70 billion yuan ($10.1 billion), according to the Zhoushan Evening News.
The plant is also creating significant opportunities for local aviation-related businesses. Segments benefiting include assurance services, maritime patrols, aviation logistics, bonded processing, aeronautical research and aircraft manufacturing.
Additionally, the plant is expected to develop industrial tourism that includes duty-free shopping, and recreation and entertainment.
Being an archipelago, the city of Zhoushan has inconvenient land transportation, which provides opportunities for air transportation. Meanwhile, as part of the Yangtze River Delta region, neighboring cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou will provide skilled human resources for Zhoushan.
"In the near future, Zhoushan will take an important position on the map of China's aviation industry, and even in the global aviation industry pattern," said Guo Qi, deputy director of the integrated planning institute, part of China Aviation Planning and Design Institute (Group) Co Ltd.
In September 2015, Boeing and COMAC signed an agreement to jointly establish a B737 completion center in China.