The proposed electric locomotive factory at Madhepura, Bihar, has attracted the attention of Chinese firms. Apart from the four multinational bidders — GE Global, Bombardier, Siemensand Alstom — there are also two Chinese companies in the fray.

CNR Corporation and CSR Corporation are State-owned entities and are listed on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. The Chinese had made bids earlier to enter the Indian locomotive sector, but success had evaded them.

Though the exact reasons for the Chinese not making it in the earlier bids is not known, the buzz is that lack of experience was cited as a disqualification. The Madhepura electric locomotive factory project is one of the projects being monitored by the Prime Minister’s Steering Committee.

If shortlisted, this will be the first time the Chinese firms will put financial bids for locomotives project in India, according to Railway Ministry sources.

The bids submitted on Monday were for entities to express their willingness to qualify for the project. The Railways will now have to shortlist the bidders and then invite financial bids.

The indicative cost of the factory is Rs 1,000 crore, according to the request for qualification of Railways. The selected firm will have to manufacture and supply 800 locomotives of 12,000 HP capacity over 11 years. The company will also have to maintain first 250 locos for 13 years and next 250 locos for four years.

Harsh Dhingra, Chief Country Representative, Bombardier Transportation-India, one of the earlier bidders and also a participant in this round, said the company is awaiting details on shortlisted bidders.

(This article was published on September 2, 2013)
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