Tata Steel is expanding its aerospace activities in China, by opening a second service centre in the country.
The new facility in Xi’an – the home of the Terracotta Warriors, about 600 miles south west of Beijing – will process steel made at Tata Steel Speciality Steels’ South Yorkshire plants.
It will serve the region’s growing aerospace manufacturing base, which already accounts for 40 per cent of China’s total aerospace manufacturing capacity.
Tata opened its first Chinese centre in Suzhou, near Shanghai, in 2009.
Mark Broxholme, managing director of Tata Steel’s South Yorkshire-based speciality steels business, said: “Following on from the development of our successful operation in Suzhou, this facility not only allows us to continue to serve our existing customer base as they develop and grow in Xi’an, but also allows us to forge new relationships with the expanding Chinese-owned aerospace manufacturing base.”
Zebin Jiang, general manager of both Tata Steel aerospace service centres in China, added: “Over 30 per cent of our existing despatches from Suzhou come to the Xi’an aerospace industry. Getting ourselves established here allows us to grow hand-in-hand with our customers and partners in China.
“From our experience at Suzhou we know that the local supply chains will benefit from our proven ability to supply our own aerospace steels, as well as bought-in non-ferrous material, on a just-in-time basis with the right certification and the high levels of traceability demanded by aerospace companies.”
Demand for aerospace steels in China is primarily driven by companies supplying Chinese state-owned aerospace companies COMAC and AVIC, but has also been fuelled by collaborations and joint ventures involving Tata Steel customers.