Mitsubishi plans transfer of 777 work to Hiroshima

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is planning to transfer some of the production work it does for the Boeing 777 to another facility, in anticipation of an increased workload for the 787 and Mitsubishi MRJ regional jet at its Nagoya factory.

The works will likely be moved to its Hiroshima facility, where it assembles the 777 fuselage panels, as well as the aft fuselage for the 767.

At its Nagoya facility, besides manufacturing parts for the 777 aft fuselage panels, tail fuselages and entry doors, MHI also assembles the tail fuselage and entry doors.

"MHI expects that at its Nagoya plants, works for the 787 and MRJ will increase, and is thus considering moving some parts production for the 777 [that are] being conducted in Nagoya to Hiroshima," says an MHI spokesman.

He emphasises that MHI is not building a new factory at Hiroshima, but will instead install the necessary equipment for parts production to expand the types of work it can do at the existing factory.

He declined to say when the transfer of work is likely to happen.

In February, Boeing said it is producing the 777 at a monthly production rate of 8.3, or about 100 per year. The 100 figure is 12 more than the maximum of 777s ever delivered in a single year, and eight more than the 747 peak output in the 1970s.

Before the 787 battery malfunctions, Boeing had also said that it aims to build 10 787s per month by late 2013.

MHI meanwhile told Flightglobal Pro in January that it is studying the possibility of building a new assembly facility near Nagoya airport to ramp up the planned production rate of its MRJ.