Our Bureau

New Delhi, Oct. 18

Eyeing the rolling stock market for metro trains, Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) is likely to set up a manufacturing unit in the country in partnership with Korean rolling stock major Rotem to construct bogies and electrical inputs for metro coaches.

"Rotem is keen to set up an unit with us here to construct parts of metro coaches including bogies and electrical inputs. We have agreed in-principle to their offer," said Mr V.R.S. Natarajan, Chairman and Managing Director, BEML.

However, Mr Natarajan added that the details on exact investments and whether the units should be greenfield or brownfield in nature, are yet to be worked out.

Demand may go up

BEML expects the demand for metro coaches to go up with mass rail transit systems projects being planned for cities such as Bangalore, Goa, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.

For supplying metro coaches to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for its Phase-I operations, BEML has already entered into a transfer of technology agreement with Rotem.

PUBLIC ISSUE

On the public issue of BEML, which was expected to hit the market in September, Mr Natarajan said that it could take another two-three months as the matter is now with the Finance Ministry. The company hopes to raise about Rs 400 crore by issuing 45 lakh shares, said Mr Natarajan.

Delhi Metro order

Further, BEML reiterated that it is confident of resolving the issue of sales tax levy with the Karnataka Government for supplying 312 coaches to DMRC over four years, as per an earlier Letter of Intent.

Following the State Government's move to impose sales tax of up to 12.5 per cent on the coaches supplied by BEML to DMRC, which increases the price of coaches, DMRC has gone ahead and floated a global tender for supply of 400 coaches.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 19, 2006)
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