Rolls-Royce to hike investment in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Aerospace giant Rolls-Royce will build a plant to make engine fan blades for large aircraft in Singapore as demand in the region grows, the company said.

The British giant said the facility will be its first outside the UK to manufacture the hollow titanium blades that are used in its Trent family of aircraft engines.

The move will bring the firm's total investment in the city-state's Seletar Aerospace Park to more than 700 million Singapore dollars (486 million US), the company said in a statement monitored on its website on Wednesday.

Rolls-Royce is also building a regional training centre and a facility that will test and assemble Trent engines. Construction of the facilities will start in the first quarter of next year.

It said one of the reasons for locating the new plant in Singapore was to bring its facilities closer to customers.

Of the Rolls Royce Group's global order book totalling 55.5 billion pounds (91.35 billion dollars) at the end of 2008, 44 percent came from clients in the Asia Pacific region, the company said.

"The group's success in global markets generates the need for additional capacity to support long-term growth and an expanding customer base," it added.