The European Investment Bank (EIB) has officially agreed to support the research and development of Rolls-Royce aero engines through a £280m long-term loan.
The seven-year loan is the largest ever given by Europe’s long-term lending institution to Rolls-Royce for investment in the research and development of the higher thrust version of its Trent XWB aero-engine.
The EIB has provided more than £723m for investment by Rolls-Royce in the past decade, as well as supporting research and development by the company elsewhere in Europe.
Visiting Rolls-Royce’s Derby production centre for the Trent XWB today, EIB vice president, Jonathan Taylor commented: “[The EIB] is committed to supporting long-term investment in research and development across Europe and we are pleased to have helped strengthen manufacturing by Rolls-Royce in Derby over many years.
“Investment to help develop new engines builds on the unique strengths of Rolls-Royce and will help to ensure that cutting-edge skills and engineering techniques build better and more efficient engines for the global airline market.”
Since the beginning of 2015, the Trent XWB-84 has been powering the Airbus A350 XWB airliner in commercial service. The forthcoming larger version of the aircraft – the A350 XWB-1000 – will employ a different version of the Trent family, the 97,000lb-thrust Trent XWB-97.
The engine is currently undergoing a rigorous test regime as it prepares for first flight later this year and subsequent entry into service on the A350-1000 in 2017.
Since 1973 the European Investment Bank has supported industrial investment across the UK through more than GBP 7 billion of loans for research and development by companies including Airbus; Ford; Nissan; Johnson Matthey; Smiths; BMW; GKN, and Oxford Instruments.
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