German engine specialist MTU and China Southern Airlines have extended the partnership agreement for their jointly owned engine overhaul shop in Zhuhai by 20 years until 2051.

MTU says that the facility is being expanded from handling around 300 aircraft a engines year today to some 450 from 2021.

This is the second expansion since the site opened in 2001, with an initial capacity to handle 200 engines a year, the engine sub-assembly manufacturer and maintenance provider notes.

The site specialises in support for CFM International CFM56s and International Aero Engines V2500s, and has completed a total of 2,500 shop visits.

MTU chief programme officer Michael Schreyogg describes the plant as “the number one engine shop in China and the largest narrowbody engine shop in Asia”.

In his view, the joint venture extension is a “clear signal to the market that MTU is committed to Asia”.

Bangladeshi operator Regent Airways has separately selected MTU to service CFM56-7B engines powering the carrier’s six Boeing 737NGs.

The airline has signed a seven-year contract covering repair and overhaul services, spare engine lease services and on-site support, MTU says.

A facility for the shop visits has not been specified, however.

In addition to Zhuhai, MTU supports CFM56-7Bs at its Hannover shop.