Spain’s Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP) is exploiting the fruits of investing in a number of key European programmes over the past decade and a half, which are now hitting, or about to hit, volume production.
ITP is a leader in low-pressure turbines
“We are a young company and this is a long-term business,” says Ignacio Mataix, chief executive of the Bilbao-based company, which is 53% owned by Spanish engineering and technology combine Sener and 47% by Rolls-Royce. “We have managed to acquire a reasonable participation in the European market and, for our size, have a large participation in a number of programmes.”
On the military side – which represents 35% of ITP’s revenues – these programmes include the Eurojet EJ200 engine for the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Airbus Military A400M’s Europrop International TP400 and the R-R/Turbomeca/MTU MTR390 for the Eurocopter Tiger. In the civil sector ITP is a major participant in all R-R Trent engine programmes, with its biggest share – 16% – in the Trent 900 for the Airbus A380.
“Trent has been a real opportunity for us to grow,” says Mataix.
The company was founded in 1989 as an amalgam of various ventures when Spain needed a national champion to secure workshare on the four-nation engine programme for the Eurofighter. Since then the company has specialised in low-pressure turbines, and is 100% responsible for the components on both the Trent 500 and 1000 engines.
As the company has moved up the value chain by developing a world-leading competence in low-pressure turbine technology, says Mataix, it has provided opportunities for suppliers to move up with it, particularly in the Basque region, one of Spain’s aerospace heartlands. “As we have grown we outsource more value to the supply chain. Now we need the region to take a further step. We need them to gain in capacity,” he says.
Although ITP does not manufacture complete engines, it has subsidiaries involved in different areas of manufacturing, such as engineering systems, piping and casting. It also has a maintenance and overhaul operation in Mexico. The company had revenues of €350 million ($415 million) last year and employs 2,500 people.
Mataix is forecasting a “substantial growth” in the business over the next few years as its programmes ramp up production. Revenues from the Trent 900 will start to flow in 2007 as A380s go into service, and the Trent 1000 will follow a year later when airlines start paying for their Boeing 787s. A year after that, A400M engine deliveries will start. “We have put in a lot of investment over the past few years,” says Mataix. “Now it is beginning to kick in.”
MURDO MORRISON / LONDON
Source: Flight International