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The Defence Minister and the President of Castilla la Mancha officially inaugurate the company ITH

The ITP Group affiliate has invested an initial 15 million euros and will create 70 jobs at the Albacete Aeronautics Park

The Defence Minister, Carme Chacón, the President of the Castilla la Mancha Autonomous Community, José María Barreda, and the Mayoress of Albacete, Carmen Oliver, headed the governmental representatives accompanying ITP Director General, Ignacio Matáix, at the official inauguration of the Industria de Turbinas de Helicópteros (ITH) installations today at the Albacete Aeronautics Park.

ITH, the new ITP maintenance centre in Albacete, encompasses all the Group's activities relating to the maintenance and assembly of helicopter engines. It has meant an initial investment of 15 million euros, including land acquisition, civil work and special teams for turbo-shaft maintenance.

ITP Director General, Ignacio Mataix, stressed the importance of this centre within ITP Group strategy: "ITH means the concentration in this one company of all the maintenance work for more than 150 engines plus 16 assembly jobs per year, with predicted annual billing figures of 30 million euros. This strategic venture worked out between the institutions and ITP will allow Albacete to blossom into an aeronautical point of reference at both statewide and international level".

The centre, which actually started running in February of this year, has meant the creation of 35 solid jobs, a figure which is expected to reach 70 within the first three years. The jobs will be distributed between maintenance technicians, assembly workers and managers to oversee the work being carried out. The installations which have so far been constructed cover an area of 3,100 square metres inside a plot of 7,700 square metres.

All of the ITP Group's remaining maintenance centres that specialise in helicopter engines will operate under the ITH name, including companies like Aeromaritime Mediterráneo (Malta), Aeromaritime America (Arizona, USA) and Component Repairs & Overhaul (Great Britain). Forecasts for ITH's overall annual sales stand at 50 million euros.

Helicopter Engines

ITH in Albacete specialises in maintenance work on the engines of three manufacturers: Pratt & Whitney Canada (the PW200 series), General Electric (the CT7-7, CT7-9, CT7-8 and T700) and Rolls-Royce (RR Model 250 series) and on the assembly of new engines for Spanish NH90 helicopters. This very month of October is expected to see the start-up of the test bench that will be used for the engine test runs.

By October 2009, eight months after it started operating, it had already delivered 38 engines or repair modules and had another 41 in progress. The first assembly of the new CT7-8F5 engine for the Spanish NH90 programme will be delivered to GE in December. After that, engines will be delivered directly to Eurocopter Spain, which is also located in the Albacete Aeronautics Park.

ITH Origins

The project that has now become a reality was rooted fundamentally in the maintenance needs of programmes for NH90 and EC 135 helicopters. ITP was already working with the two engine suppliers for the NH90, for which the government of the day had approved orders of 45 units rising to 100. Finally, in 2007, the engine chosen for the NH90 multi-task helicopter was the CT7-8F5 of General Electric (GE).

One of the most significant aspects of this was the commitment that GE obtained from the Spanish government for the maintenance of a total higher than the 90 engines promised initially. This means that there will be sufficient workload to make the new activity centre viable.

In other areas, ITP works as an independent centre with worldwide authorisation for the maintenance of PW200 engines, including the PW206s that equip the 48 EC135s that the Interior Ministry will take delivery of. The ITH venture is driven by the potential synergies in the combined package of the bid to develop the aeronautics industry in Castilla La Mancha, including the Aeronautics and Logistics Park, the arrival of the manufacturer Eurocopter, and the activities of the Arsenal at the Albacete Airbase.

Note to the editor

ITP Aero is currently the ninth largest aircraft engine and components company in the world by revenue. Ranking among the top one hundred companies in the aerospace industry (Top 100 Aerospace Companies, PwC and Flight International). The company employs over 3,500 people at its production centres in Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico, the United States, Malta and India.

ITP Aero includes among its activities the design, research and development, manufacturing and casting, assembly and testing of aeronautical modules and engines. It also provides MRO services for a wide range of engines for regional airlines, business aviation, helicopters, industrial and defense applications. ITP Aero operates as a corporate entity within the Rolls-Royce group.

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