British-based Rolls-Royce said it is committed to promoting Thailand as an important aerospace manufacturing base.
Thailand has solid infrastructure for this industry, including a strong industrial foundation, good airports and skilled labour, in the firm’s view. The company has worked continuously with the government and private sectors to support the development of the aerospace industrial roadmap for the nation, according to Ewen McDonald, managing director of Rolls-Royce (Thailand) Co.
Thailand is one of three major markets for Rolls-Royce in Asean, the others being Singapore – home to its regional office – and Malaysia. The firm’s operations in the Kingdom focus on supply-chain production for aerospace parts for export worldwide. However, the firm has no plan to set up its own manufacturing plant here, choosing instead to focus on promoting qualified suppliers to join its supply chain.
At present, three companies in Thailand supply parts to the company.
In its aerospace business, Rolls-Royce needs about 18,000 separate parts for engine assembly. Worldwide, 70 per cent of these are produced by suppliers and the remaining 30 per cent by the firm itself in various countries. Thailand has the largest Rolls-Royce supply-chain footprint of any country.
Thai Airways International Plc (THAI), the national carrier, is one of Rolls-Royce’s main clients. The firm’s Trent 900 turbofan engine is the fourth member of the Trent family to be used by THAI’s fleet. It powers THAI’s A380s, the first of which was delivered recently. In addition, Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB and Trent 1000 engines will power 12 Airbus A350 XWB and eight Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft for the carrier.
Asia and the Middle East are Rolls-Royce’s key markets looking forward, thanks to the two regions’ growing prosperity. The group has taken orders for engines from countries such as China, Singapore and Thailand.
Asia and the Middle East were the biggest sales contributors to the group in 2011, with orders worth 28.7 billion British pounds (Bt1.41 trillion), out of total global orders of 62.2 billion pounds. These figures combine all existing businesses including defence aerospace, marine business and energy.
Globally, the group’s profits totalled 1.16 billion pounds in 2011. Of the total, 49 per cent came from civil aerospace, 20 per cent each from defence aerospace and marine operations, and 11 per cent from energy business.