Monday, November 16, 2009

India's first aviation SEZ opened in Belgaum


Global aerospace majors such as Europe's SABCA and Canada's Magellan Aerospace will set up shops in India's first special economic zone (SEZ) devoted exclusively for the aviation industry here.

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Friday inaugurated the aerospace engineering and manufacturing SEZ, set up by QuEST Global, one of the leading engineering and consultancy firms in the world.

'The QuEST Global SEZ in Belgaum has opened up newer avenues to attract foreign investment in the manufacturing space. We are now poised to offer expertise through competent local talent and corporate commitment,' the chief minister said on the occasion.

The SEZ, spread over 300 acres, currently houses an engineering services facility, a precision machining facility and a sheet metal facility.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, also present at the launch, said India's aviation industry was on growth path.

'Indian aviation industry is being watched closely by all global majors and it on a steady growth path,' Patel said.

'We fully support the vision of entities like QuEST Global, which by setting up this project has displayed its commitment not only towards economic growth, but also to the development of local areas,' Patel added.

QuEST has signed agreements with three global corporations - SABCA, Magellan Aerospace and France's Farinia SA - to set up units in the SEZ.

SABCA will manufacturer metallic parts for Airbus aircraft in its Belgaum unit, while Magellan will set up a facility to manufacture components and sub assemblies for aero engines.

Foundry and forging major Farinia will establish an aerospace forging facility.

'The initial investment for the SEZ project is Rs.150 crore. We are looking at long-term gains,' Aravind Melligeri, chairman and co-founder of QuEST Global said.

'We are looking forward to creating more than 7,000 jobs locally and infusing $500 million into the economy in the next 10 years,' he added.

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