China will set up a joint venture company in Shanghai on Sunday to build a "super-sized" aircraft, a local newspaper reported today.
China Commercial Plane Co Ltd plans to develop the country's first super-sized plane, Shanghai Securities News said.
Super-sized is defined as a plane with more than 150 seats or with a payload of more than 100 tons, including military and civilian jets. Only six countries now have the capacity to manufacture such aircraft.
The project is expected to have a total investment budget of between 50 billion yuan (US$6.99 billion) and 60 billion yuan, previous reports said.
The State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission will inject cash into the company and become its largest shareholder, previous news reports said.
AVIC I will invest assets and cash in exchange for a stake to become the second-largest shareholder in the planned company.
AVIC II and other state-owned companies including Baosteel will also invest, a Beijing News report said.
Governments, including Shanghai, are expected to invest 5 billion yuan in the company, a previous report from Shanghai Securities News said.
The company will recruit about 2,000 researchers, including 700 from the Shanghai branch of AVIC I, for the project, the report said.
The company may choose to be based in Lingang Industry Zone in Nanhui District, another report from Shanghai Business.com has said, citing "insiders."
The Lingang Zone is at the mouth of the Yangtze River, so large aircraft components can be transferred on ships, the Shanghai Business report said.
The zone is also near Pudong International Airport, the report added.
AVIC I built the country's first regional jet, ARJ21, in December. The jet will make its maiden flight this month. The 6-billion-yuan project is seen as a precursor to building jumbo jets.
(Shanghai Daily May 7, 2008)