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Embraer plans to invest $238 mln in new plants

Brazil’s Embraer, the world’s third-biggest commercial jet maker, said it would invest €148 million ($238 million) in two new plants in Portugal - its first industrial units in Europe that will make wings and tailpieces for exports.

The two plants will be based in Evora in the south of the country. One, which will cost €100 million, will build large metallic parts for aircraft, like wings, while the other will work with composite materials for tailpieces. The investment plan spans the next six years, Embraer said.

The construction of the wings unit will start this year and it should start producing in 2011, and the second plant would become operational in 2012, Embraer said. Portugal’s Economy Minister Manuel Pinho said earlier production could start as early as the end of next year, but he later corrected himself.

The deal between Embraer and Portugal is the result of a cooperation agreement signed in 2006. Embraer, which is one of Brazil’s top exporters, in its turn imports many components from other countries, but those are rarely made at its own installations. “These new centres of excellence are part of Embraer’s industrial expansion ... Europe represents one of the most important markets for Embraer,” said the company’s chief executive officer Frederico Fleury Curado. (Gulf Daily News)