Kickstarting Portugal’s fledgling aerospace industry

Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer has opened its first overseas manufacturing centre in Portugal and is strengthening the country’s competitiveness in the aerospace industry.

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The opening of Embraer’s new composites factory in the ancient Roman city of Évora is set to be a game changer. The new factory for composite structures will, along with a side-by-side twin factory for metal structures built on the same site, initially build wings and horizontal stabilisers for business jets with work on a military transporter likely to follow. In a second phase of development, the new manufacturing centre will also be able to assemble airline parts.

Creating high quality jobs

The new 37 100 m2 composites plant is expected to lead to the direct creation of 125 new jobs and 375 indirectly created jobs. Together with the new 31 800 m2 factory for metal parts, it will have a combined workforce of around 600 when both plants become fully operational towards the end of 2013 and should eventually have the potential to create 2 000 jobs across the region as part of an economic multiplier effect.

Potential for aerospace cluster

Around the new factory buildings in Évora stand hectares of undeveloped land where it is hoped that smaller suppliers will be persuaded to establish themselves, creating Portugal’s first aerospace cluster on a 877 000 m2 aerospace park.

Boosting the region’s exports and diversifying the economy

Embraer’s new plants in Évora are expected to generate EUR 171 million in sales between 2012 and 2017.  For a region which is highly dependent on tourism, fishing and agriculture, the new plants are also an opportunity for the region to boost its high-value exports as well as increasing its competitiveness and the region’s economic convergence.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Embraer Compósitos” is EUR 88 440 618, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 25 489 752 from the Operational Programme “Thematic Factors of Competitiveness” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period, under the priority “Innovation and renewal of the enterprise model and the pattern of specialisation”.

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