Italy's Agusta to set up chopper assembly plant in Qatar
Italian helicopter manufacturer Agusta will set up a maintenance and assembly plant in Qatar, an official said Monday, November 5. An accord for construction of the plant was initialed here Monday by an executive from the Italian firm and the emir of Qatar's chief of staff, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Saud Al-Thani.
"This will be the first plant of its kind in the Middle East and will serve the Gulf, Asia and Africa," Sheikh Mohammad told a news conference. "It will place Qatar on the aviation industry map in future," he said.
Sheikh Mohammad said the plant would initially carry out maintenance work on civilian and military helicopters and go on to assemble choppers at a later stage.
"This project will be of great benefit to Qatar, because it will enable it to diversify its sources of revenue," the Qatari official said. Qatar's Gulf Helicopters, an affiliate of state-owned Qatar Petroleum, will be Agusta's partner in the project, whose cost has not been disclosed.
Gas-rich Qatar has embarked on an ambitious industrialization program. The Gulf state sits on the world's third largest proven gas reserves, after Russia and Iran, estimated at more than 500 trillion cubic feet (14 trillion cubic meters). — (AFP, Doha)
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