October 27, 2008 / 8:28 PM / in 9 years

Pratt & Whitney to build aerospace centre in Montreal

TORONTO (Reuters) - Pratt and Whitney Canada, a unit of United Technologies Corp, said on Monday it will spend C$575.3 million ($447.18 million) to establish an aerospace center in Montreal for the final assembly and testing of new low-emission, fuel-efficient jet engines.

The investment, which is expected to generate 565 jobs, will be put into the Mirabel Aerospace Center, at Mirabel airport north of the city, and at Pratt & Whitney Canada’s other Quebec facilities, over the next five years.

The company said the final assembly and testing of the PurePower PW810C engine, made to power the Cessna Citation Columbus large business jet, would be conducted at the new 300,000-square-foot facility. It will also be the global hub for Pratt & Whitney’s integrated flight test operations.

“The Pratt & Whitney Canada Mirabel Aerospace Center will ensure we have ample capacity to meet the anticipated strong demand for the PW800 engines for years to come while supporting our growing flight test operations needs,” said company President Alain M. Bellemare.

The Longueuil, Quebec-based company said the Quebec government’s contribution of C$141.9 million for infrastructure and equipment at Montreal-Mirabel International Airport was a major factor in the decision to invest there.

It said another contributing factor was that the Bombardier CSeries will also be assembled at Mirabel, which led to Pratt & Whitney’s decision to also perform final assembly and tests of the PW1524G engines for the CSeries there.

The opening of the facility is scheduled for the fall of 2009. The center will include two bays for the company’s Boeing B747SP test aircraft to support flight testing.

The new PW810C jet engine incorporates advanced fan, compressor, turbine and low-emissions combustion systems for better fuel consumption, future thrust-growth capability and improved environmental friendliness, the company said. First run of the new engine is targeted for mid-2009.

($1=$1.29 Canadian)

Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson

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