Foundation stone laying takes place for US/German XEOS Center

The foundation stone has been laid for the XEOS aircraft engine service and overhaul centre in Sroda Slaska, Poland. Guests of honour included: Carsten Spohr – Chief Executive Officer at Lufthansa AG, Dr Johannes Bussmann – CEO at Lufthansa Technik AG, David Joyce – Vice Chair of GE and the President and Chief Executive Officer for GE Aviation, Jean Lydon-Rodgers – President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Aviation Services, as well as Tadeusz Koscinski – Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Development and Rolf Nikel – Ambassador of Germany in Poland.
XEOS, a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and GE Aviation, is an investment valued at one billion Polish zlotys. This state-of-the-art aircraft engine service centre, one of the most advanced in the world, will employ 600 experienced top-class aviation industry specialist and invest 60.00 million PLN in staff training. The plant is planned to be opened in the spring 2019.
Thomas Böttger, XEOS Managing Director of Business, said: “Today’s celebration marks a symbolic launch of our project. At the Paris Airshow in June 2015, two global aviation industry leaders – Lufthansa Technik and GE Aviation – decided to create a world-leading aircraft engine service and overhaul center for GEnx-2B and GE9X engines. Today we fulfill this dream and we take pride in this challenge. XEOS means modern technologies, world-class solutions as well as highest standards of quality and safety. We create the history of the aerospace industry and knowledge-based modern economy, whose main pillar is aviation. We write this story together with our team, which will ultimately include 600 high-end professionals equipped with truly unique skills.”
Stefan Schmuck, XEOS Managing Director of Operations, said: “With great joy, accompanied by our friends, business partners, Polish authorities, neighbours and media, today we are starting a long, at least 40-year long journey. Since December 2016, Poland and Lower Silesia, and especially Sroda Slaska, have been our home. Here, we want to build strong relationships with the local community, whilst the foundation stone laid today is not only the foundation of our center, but also the foundation of these relationships. Into the time capsule we have put a letter for future generations, which contains a manifesto of our values and plans. We trust that people who will read this letter in 40 or maybe more years will be proud to say that our message is still up to date and that our goals have been met.”
Tadeusz Koscinski, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Development of Poland, said: “The XEOS investment in Sroda Slaska is an outcome of the government’s consistent efforts to reduce economic disparities between regions. Choosing Poland to situate the latest aircraft engine service and overhaul centre is no coincidence. The well-developed infrastructure has definitely been very important, but even more are the skilled people and a stable economic situation. We are gradually becoming a European leader in acquiring greenfield investments in the area of state-of-the-art technologies.”
Work on the construction site began in early August 2017. The area has already been levelled whilst over 35,000m3 of earth have been moved around the construction site. A large part of the foundations have been poured, too. In mid-October the first construction cranes are to join excavators on site to start constructing the skeleton of the building. Over 200 concrete columns constituting the skeleton of the plant, weighting up to 35 tons each will be erected. In total, approx 1,700 tonnes of steel and a total of 20,000 m3 of concrete will be consumed during construction works.
The construction site for XEOS centre has the area of about 14ha, that is approximately 20 football fields. In addition, the pipework and rainwater retention tank have the capacity of an Olympic-size swimming pool. The rough framing work for the Main Building will be completed by March 2018. As soon as in Summer 2018 the first pieces of repair equipment will be brought in. According to the plan, the buildings will be handed over to the investor in December 2018, so that in spring 2019 the Centre could receive its first engines. The timely completion of the works is possible thanks to the involvement of several dozen subcontractors – Polish companies collaborating with the general contractor and up to 500 workers who had new jobs created owing to the project. Construction works are conducted in a two-shift system, from Monday to Saturday.For the last 56 days since the construction work has been launched there has been no incident whatsoever occuring on the site. This is owing to top quality standards which are an inherent value for the joint venture companies – Lufthansa Technik and GE Aviation, the General Contractor, Budimex Company, and for PM Group company acting as the General Designer for the centre.
The plant is intended primarily to service GEnx-2B engines, and in subsequent years also GE9X. Currently, 18 air operators worldwide have nearly 500 GEnx-2B engines in commercial use. The engines have totalled 5 million flight hours and obtained excellent operational results. Their technological sophistication has resulted in a lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions down by 15% compared to the GECF6 model.
GE9X engines, to be serviced in the plant from 2021, are the most advanced aircraft engines in their class. Although the formal certification process for these engines has yet to close in 2018, over 700 units have already been ordered by operators worldwide. GE9X engines continue to develop aircraft technology to higher efficiency in tandem with lower fuel consumption, meaning lower gas emission.
The opportunity to work with the foremost technologies in the aviation industry, together with extensive training and the international working environment created by two global brands – Lufthansa Technik and General Electric Aviation – has already and will be attractive to top-class specialists, engineers and students of technical faculties all over Poland. As for today, the Centre already employs 86 people, whilst this number is to increase to 100 by the end of this year. In spring 2019 when the plant is to be fully operational, there will be about 140 people working there. Ultimately, XEOS aims to create 600 new work places.
XEOS is investing 60.00 million PLN in staff training, and these funds will have been allocated to operate the Specialised Training Centre in Wroclaw and multi-month trainings for employees.