Snecma Services, the engine overhaul arm of the Snecma Group, has made its first foray into North America with the formation of a joint venture with Florida-based Propulsion Technology Corporation.

The operation, to be renamed simply Propulsion Technology, performs component repairs on CFM56, General Electric CF6, and Pratt & Whitney JT8D engine parts, and is just moving into the repair of CF34 parts. Snecma will hold a 25.5% stake in the new company, with Belgium's Techspace Aero (in which Snecma has a 51% stake) having a similar amount.

The deal is Snecma's third joint venture in engine repair, while it also has three ventures with airlines on the engine overhaul side, said March Ventre, the chairman of Snecma Services, who hopes that the deal is just the first move in a significant expansion of its US activities. It has ambitions to establish a presence in engine overhaul, possibly by taking over an independent shop, or by going the joint venture route with an airline.


Ventre wants to enter the engine market "the sooner the better", but stresses that the opportunity has to be the right one. The most important thing is to establish the operation in the next three years to be ready for the next major US overhaul selection round in four years time, says Jacques Renvier, chief of customer operations.

CFM-56 overhauls are easily Snecma's main business, accounting for 75% of its commercial engine work. It also performs overhauls on Pratt & Whitney JT8Ds and JT9s.The Snecma Services share of the CFM-56 overhaul market, believed to represent 1,750 shop visits in 2000, is about 15%, says Renvier. The aim is to expand its share to 20-25% in what is a fast growing market. Ventre says there are no plans to add more engine types to its portfolio for the timebeing: "The CFM-56 is such a big market that it keeps us busy enough."

Source: Flight Daily News