LOS ANGELES Boeing Co. is looking to expand its titanium role in Russia by building a second production plant for Ural Boeing Manufacturing (UBM), its joint venture with VSMPO-Avisma Corp.
Chicago-based Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding Nov. 18 with VSMPOs parent, state-owned industrial and technology company Rostec Corp. UBM is in Russias "Titanium Valley," a special economic zone in Verkhnyaya Salda.
Boeing and VSMPO, generally regarded as the worlds largest titanium producer, formed UBM in 2009 for primary machining of titanium forgings produced by VSMPO, mainly for Boeings 787 Dreamliner. It is unknown if the new facility will perform the same function or take on new responsibilities.
The agreement marks "another important step" in expanding the 50-50 joint venture, Ray Conner, chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement.
Rostec chief executive officer Sergey Chemezov added that the deal builds on the "strategic partnership" of the two companies.
Verkhnyaya Salda-based VSMPO is one of three global producers to provide Boeing with titanium mill products under the airliner manufacturers system of long-term supply agreements. The others are Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Technologies Inc. and Portland, Ore.-based Precision Castparts Inc.s Titanium Metals Corp.
The UBM expansion is the second joint agreement involving VSMPO and a U.S. metals company in the past month. In late October, the Russian producer signed a cooperation agreement with Pittsburgh-based Alcoa Inc., described as a first step toward establishing a joint venture for downstream titanium and aluminum aerospace products at the formers ZAO Alcoa SMZ plant in Samara, Russia (amm.com, Oct. 22). The venture would include Samaras 75,000-ton forging press, which is considered a sister press of VSMPOs press of the same capacity.