Embraer says it remains in negotiations over Chinese plant

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Embraer has denied reports that it has decided to close its Chinese assembly plant Harbin Embraer, insisting that negotiations "have not been concluded".

The fuss follows a report from Brazil's Estado news agency, which claims Embraer has decided to close the plant. It quotes Embraer executive vice-president, airline market Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva as saying that the Chinese see Embraer as a competitor and that a letter from Embraer to the Chinese government concerning E-Jets' production received no reply.

For several years Harbin Embraer produced ERJ-135/140/145 regional jets in Harbin. But demand for small-sized regional jets dried up and Embraer warned earlier this year that it might need to close the plant. The last ERJ-145 is due to be delivered to Hainan Airlines in the first half of 2011.

1000 embraer erj145
 © Embraer
Hainan Airlines regional subsidiary Grand China Express receives its first Embraer ERJ-145

China's Comac, meanwhile, is developing the 150-seat C919 commercial aircraft as well as the 90-seat ARJ21, which will compete with Embraer's E-Jets.