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29th November 2018, Italy

Leonardo and Kangde plan JV

Italian aerospace giant Leonardo and China’s Kangde Group, a leading manufacturer of both optical films and carbon fibres, are considering establishing the joint production of composite parts.

The parts will be supplied for the needs of the CRAIC CR929, the long-haul wide-body civil aircraft programme which is a joint venture between China’s Comac and Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). This is aiming to challenge the Airbus and Boeing duopoly in the coming years.

CRAIC CR929.

As part of these plans, both Leonardo and Kangde Group plan to invest up to 30 billion yuan (US$ 4.3 billion) in the new production facility.

The new plant will be located in China and its commissioning is scheduled for 2023-2025.

Earlier this year Kangde Group started building its new carbon fibre manufacturing plant at the planned Kangde Carbon Valley in Rongcheng, in northeast China’s Shandong.

It has been claimed that this will have a capacity of 66,000 tons by 2023, making it the largest single-site carbon fibre plant in the world, with the cost of the investment estimated to be in the region of EUR 6 billion.

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