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China's first airplane recycling center to open in August

By ZHU WENQIAN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-04-12 17:48

The first civil aircraft recycling base in China will begin operating in Harbin, Heilongjiang province in northeast China, in August.

The base is located near Harbin Taiping International Airport, and its aircraft tow way helps to connect the airport runway and the factory. Previously, aircraft in China usually had to be sent to the United States to be dismantled.

The dismantling base in Harbin is also thought to be the sole aircraft recycling base in Asia, providing services to northeast Asian countries. The base will also contribute to upgrading local industry in Harbin and create a large number of jobs.

About 400 million yuan ($58 million) has been invested in the first stage, according to Zhonglong Aircraft Dismantle Base general manager Li Yuze. He said the base will have an annual capacity of about 20 planes.

The company said it has prepared to purchase about 10 old domestic aircraft and some foreign aircraft. In the next three to five years, Li said he plans to expand the market in Russia, Japan, South Korea and Western countries.

The second-stage of the project will start construction by 2020, increasing capacity to about 50 planes once completed.

With the increasing service life of civil aircraft, maintenance costs, fuel consumption, and the decline of their flight safety and comfort, some old aircraft have entered the final stage of their life. After 15 to 20 years, civil aircraft are usually retired or modified to cargo aircraft.

Despite being grounded, about 90 percent of an aircraft's spare parts are still valuable, and they can be put on the market after testing and certification. Currently, a lot of top international airlines are using second-hand spare parts.

Globally, more than 1,000 aircraft need to be dismantled and recycled annually, and the aircraft dismantle sector is expected to net about $10 billion a year in revenue.

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