The European Union's Next Generation EU (NGEU) plan is currently entertaining an interesting initiative to support investments in digitalization, IoT, Industry 4.0, and related technologies as a chance to emerge stronger and healthier from the pandemic. More than a recovery plan, the NGEU allows the metalworking industry to drive innovation and growth by accessing grants and loans that will support investments in high-tech machinery and equipment. NGEU will operate from 2021 to 2026 and be tied to the 2021-2027 budget of the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The comprehensive NGEU and MFF packages are projected to reach $2 trillion.
A few recently announced projects and investment news items are listed below:
ITP Aero, a manufacturer of turbines, compressors, nozzles, and radial structures, announced a new research and development facility at its global headquarters in Zamudio, Spain. The new R&D center entails a $26 million investment and is expected to be operational by mid-2024. It will focus on critical advanced manufacturing and digital technologies required to produce the products that the aero engine market demands, in line with ITP Aero’s commitment to sustainable aviation.
Avio Aero has been awarded approximately $37 million over four years by the European Commission’s Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking to fund its Amber demonstrator aircraft. The Italian company, part of GE Aerospace, plans to mature and integrate technologies necessary for a megawatt (MW)-class hybrid-electric propulsion system powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The Amber demonstrator will study integrating hybrid electric components including a motor or generator, power converters, and power transmission systems – with fuel cells for rig testing in the mid-2020s, using Avio Aero’s advanced Catalyst turboprop engine.
Aero, a traditional Czech jet aircraft manufacturer, has launched a new production line for the new L-39NG trainer aircraft. This investment will allow Aero to gradually increase capacity and produce up to two L-39NG aircraft monthly. Plans are to reach the production of 24 aircraft per year within two years.
Honeywell’s Newborn project will develop a new generation of hydrogen fuel cells for the aviation industry. It will involve a multidisciplinary collaboration between 18 partners from 10 European countries, led by Honeywell, to develop an aerospace-qualified megawatt-class fuel cell propulsion system powered by hydrogen. The Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking is a $750 million EU research and innovation program. Work on Newborn will be performed at the Honeywell Technology Solutions R&D center in Brno, Czech Republic, and other Honeywell and project-partner sites across Europe.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey will become Toyota’s first European plant to produce plug-in hybrid vehicles and batteries. The 100% electrified powertrain lineup of the new Toyota C-HR reflects Toyota’s commitment to offering appropriate carbon-reduction opportunities to Europe's largest and most competitive market segment. The total investment for this project will be around $340 million, bringing the overall cumulative investment in TMMT to about $2.5 billion.
Infineon Technologies AG, a global semiconductor leader in power systems and IoT, is starting the construction of its new plant for analog/mixed-signal technologies and power semiconductors in Dresden, Germany. Infineon intends to invest around $5.34 billion in the project, the largest investment in the company's history. Construction work is scheduled to start in 2023, and production of power semiconductors is expected to begin in 2026.
American chipmaker Wolfspeed Inc. plans to build a $3-billion plant to make electric vehicle chips in Germany, with automotive supplier ZF investing $185 million to take an equity stake to support the planned construction of the world’s most advanced and largest 200 mm silicon carbide device fab in Ensdorf, Germany. The start of production is scheduled for 2027.
For more information, please contact Conchi Aranguren at caranguren@AMTonline.org.