Lufthansa Technik (LHT) and Rolls-Royce are to set up a joint venture to overhaul and repair Trent engines in Europe. The 50:50 venture, dubbed N3 Engine Overhaul, will service Trent 500, 700 and 900 engines for the African, American and European markets from 2007.

LHT and R-R have yet to decide where to locate the new facility, but it is unlikely to be at LHT's main powerplant services base at Hamburg, Germany, or at R-R's manufacturing plants at Dahlewitz and Oberursel. "We will select a competitive location somewhere in Europe by year-end," says August Wilhelm Henningson, LHT chairman of the executive board. The c100 million ($108 million) joint venture, which is subject to regulatory approval, follows Lufthansa's selection of the Trent 500, 700 and 900 engines to power its Airbus A340-600, A330 and A380 aircraft, respectively.

By 2010, N3 will employ 500 people overhauling 100 Trents a year, and Henningson hopes to have "a mature capacity of 200 engines a year with 700 to 800 people". Ian Lloyd, R-R director services, expects 40% of business to come from Lufthansa's aircraft, 40% from R-R Trent Totalcare contracts, and the rest from third parties. R-R will still operate its Trent and RB211 service centre in Derby, UK, using both European facilities as capacity demands. Lloyd says the LHT connection will "add muscle to our marketing" when seeking new customers.

This is the fourth such venture for R-R, which participates in Hong Kong Aero Engine Services (HAESL) with Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering and Singapore Airlines Engineering (SIAEC), Singapore Aero Engine Services with SIAEC and HAESL, and Texas Aero Engine Services with American Airlines. Lloyd says the joint venture "completes R-R's Trent service network for the time being".

Source: Flight International