Expanding its existing converter facility’s capabilities

In a nutshell

New facility

will make propulsion equipment for metro coaches.

The company

will invest upwards of €25 m for the facility.

Factory will

integrate the coaches and test them.

Mamuni Das

New Delhi, Aug 8

In a multinationals’ first foreign direct investment in the metro coach manufacturing sector, Canadian firm Bombardier Transportation plans to set up the country’s first metro coach factory in Vadodara by May-June 2008.

Bombardier will manufacture coach shells and bogies in the new factory and expand its existing factory (which manufactures converters for Indian Railways’ locomotives) to make propulsion equipment for metro coaches.

Investment

He added that factory would also integrate the coaches and test them.

“The company would invest upwards of €25 million for the facility,” Mr Rajeev Jyoti, Managing Director, Bombardier Transportation India, told

Business Line

.

About 500-550 workers would be hired for the factory, comprising about 450 blue-collar workers and 100 supervisors and engineers.

Ready by ‘08

Construction work for the factory would start by September-end this year and the factory is expected to be ready by May-June 2008. “By end-2008 or early-2009, we expect to roll out the first metro coaches,” Mr Jyoti said.

Bombardiers’ decision to set up this factory was driven by a $590-million tender to supply 340 metro coaches to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The factory would be a wholly owned subsidiary of Bombardier.

The factory would have a capacity to roll out 40 coaches per month at peak performance and 24 coaches per month usually. It can manufacture both broad gauge and standard gauge rolling stock. The facility would have access to Bombardier Transportations’ latest technology in the sector.

Apart from the metro rail market in India, Bombardier is likely to serve the South Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia from this facility. Bombardiers’ European facilities serve the business in these countries at present.

In India, apart from Delhi, other cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad have plans to implement metro rail systems. In China, Bombardier has set up factories through joint ventures, which are likely to serve the Chinese market only.

Bombardier would source inputs like cabling systems, doors, air conditioners, seating and braking systems, from its recognised global vendors — preferably with local presence in India.

Incidentally, Bombardier was contemplating setting up factories in either Hyderabad or Vadodara. It has an engineering facility in Hyderabad and a converter (for locomotives of Indian Railways) manufacturing facility in Vadodara. However, it chose Vadodara for various reasons like the factory being located near a rail-link and several supporting companies’ presence in the region.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 9, 2007)
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