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Alcoa wins $1.1B, 10-year contract for jet engine components

| Monday, July 14, 2014, 1:48 p.m.

Alcoa Inc. announced $1.1 billion agreement on Monday to supply Pratt & Whitney with jet engine components, underscoring the company's efforts to strengthen its aerospace business and offset declining aluminum prices.

The 10-year deal was signed at the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdon. The components Alcoa will provide the United Technologies Corp. jet engine division include aluminum fan blades that use alloys produced at Alcoa Technical Center in Upper Burrell.

“This is another step in the right direction for Alcoa as it continues to grow its aerospace business,” said analyst Anthony Rizzuto Jr. of Cowen & Co.

Alcoa's engineered products segment, which includes aerospace, had record second-quarter operating profit. The company hopes to add to that with the $3 billion acquisition of U.K.-based Firth Rixson Ltd., a jet-engine components maker. Alcoa said the acquisition, announced last month, will boost aerospace revenue by 20 percent to about $4.8 billion a year.

The company plans to use aluminum and aluminum-lithium produced at the technical center and in Lafayette, Ind., for front fan blades, manufactured at its Cleveland plant. Other plants in Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas will supply blades, vanes and structural components, using nickel-based superalloys, titanium as well as aluminum.

“We're going where no materials scientist has gone before,” said Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld. “Combining Alcoa's proprietary alloys and unique manufacturing processes with Pratt & Whitney's design, we cracked the code on forging an aluminum fan blade that is lighter and enables better fuel efficiency.”

John D. Oravecz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7882 or joravecz@tribweb.com.

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