American airplane maker Boeing and Chinese aviation manufacturer, Beijing-based Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC), will begin construction on a Boeing 737 completion center in eastern China at the end of this month to make its first delivery in 2018.
This is Boeing’s first overseas facility as part of its 737 production system, and is designed to deliver 100 Boeing 737 planes a year eventually.
In the joint-venture completion center located in Zhoushan city, an island city in Zhejiang province four hours drive southeast from Shanghai, Boeing’s 737 aircraft will be installed with flight entertainment systems and seats.
The plant will also provide services such as coating, repair and maintenance of Boeing aircraft.
Boeing and COMAC signed an agreement in October 2016 to set up the Zhoushan plant, which will consist of two parts: the 737 completion center, a joint venture of Boeing and COMAC, as well as a 737 delivery center owned by Boeing.
In addition to the completion and delivery center, Zhoushan city also plans to develop an entire industrial chain to service aircraft manufacturing. The city will have the capacity to assemble, deliver and modify 600 aircraft a year by 2025, according to Chinese official media reports.
To accommodate aircraft manufacturing and delivery, nearby Putuoshan Airport is undergoing a RMB750 million (US$108 million) expansion to increase its capacity.
Zhoushan is an archipelago and island city in Zhejiang province. It has the largest fishery in China and boasts strong shipbuilding, tourism and service industries.