March 17, 2011 – By Mariko Katsumura
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TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese company making galleys for the long-awaited Boeing <BA.N> 787 Dreamliner said delivery of the component could be delayed if gasoline becomes even more scarce after last week's earthquake and tsunami.
Jamco <7408.T> said on Thursday that production of the galleys had been unaffected, but delivery could be hampered by higher gasoline prices or if gasoline becomes more widely unavailable.
Jamco ships the galleys from Yokohama port after making them at a plant in Murakami, Nigata, in northwestern Japan.
Boeing's Dreamliner is nearly three years behind its original schedule, but the world's second-largest commercial planemaker, after EADS <EAD.PA> unit Airbus, has said it aims to deliver the plane in the third quarter of this year.
Snags in Boeing's global supply chain have caused some of the delays of the lightweight, carbon-composite airplane.
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Boeing uses several suppliers in Japan, who have said the disaster has not affected their operations.
Boeing has said it is too soon to know if the crisis in Japan will affect Dreamliner production.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Jim Albaugh said on CNBC this week that a delay of longer than several weeks could create "issues."
Larry Wilson, a spokesman for Boeing's supplier management, said he was unaware of Jamco's concerns.
U.S.-based aerospace analysts said Boeing has enough inventory at its 787 assembly plant in Seattle, Washington, to weather any disruptions in Japan.
"Even if there was some sort of disruption in Japan, Boeing has a lot of aircraft parts in their system over in Seattle already," said RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Stallard. "So I don't really see any near-term impact."
Boeing suppliers in Japan include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries <7011.T>, which makes wings at its Nagoya factory. That plant is operating.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries <7012.T> makes forward parts of 787 bodies at its plant in Yatomi, Nagoya. The company said those operations had not been affected by the earthquake or ensuing tsunami.
Fuji Heavy Industries <7270.T> makes 787's center wings at its plant in Handa, Aichi, also close to Nagoya. The company said the disaster had not affected those operations.
Shares of Boeing closed up 61 cents at $68.30 on Thursday.
(Writing by Kyle Peterson, Editing by Tim Hepher, Toni Reinhold)