Russia To Support Boeing

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed "a new level of cooperation" with Boeing on Aug. 10 as the company announced a joint venture with Russian VSPMO-Avisma, the world's top titanium maker. "Your company has always shown itself to be a reliable partner," Putin told Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Alan Mulally at the start of a meeting at Putin's suburban residence in Novo-Ogaryovo. "We will support the growth of your business in Russia."

Earlier Aug. 10, Boeing had announced the formation of a 50-50 joint venture with VSMPO-Avisma to manufacture titanium components for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner passenger jet. VSMPO-Avisma general director Vladislav Tetyukhin, who also took part in the meeting with Putin, said the companies would invest a total of $60 million in the joint venture. Tetyukhin said that depending on the number of 787 Dreamliners that Boeing sold, the joint venture could sell components worth between $250 million to $400 million.

Ten percent of the jets' body will be made of Russian titanium, Tetyukhin said.

Thirty companies have purchased 403 of the jets, which are expected to go into production in 2008, Tetyukhin said, adding that Boeing estimates the market for such jets at $1 trillion.

Initial production of the titanium components will take place in a plant in the Urals region town of Verkhnyaya Salda, and they will be completed at a Boeing factory in Portland, Ore. according to earlier reports.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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