3 min read.Updated: 14 Feb 2016, 06:28 PM ISTP.R. Sanjai
Bombardier will bid for rolling stock and signalling system projects that form a sizeable portion of the total proposed spending
Mumbai: Bombardier Transportation, the rail equipment division of the Canadian firm Bombardier Inc., will bid for Indian Railways projects that aim to modernize the national carrier.
Bombardier will bid for rolling stock and signalling system projects that form a sizeable portion of the railways’ total proposed spending worth ₹ 856,000 crore over the next five years, said Harsh Dhingra, chief country representative-India for the company on Sunday in an interview on the sidelines of the Make in India event in Mumbai.
The railways ministry had in July proposed this investment to modernize and overhaul one of the world’s largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km of track.
Last month, India had shipped a maiden consignment of six metro coaches built in Baroda by Bombardier Transportation for export to the Australian government from Mumbai Port. This was the first shipment of the planned 450 coaches that will be exported to Australia over a two-and-a-half year period.
“Bombardier is one of the few rail companies in India which is truly supporting Indian government’s Make in India campaign. Bombardier Transportation is not only making rail products and solutions for the Indian market which are manufactured in India but also delivering it for exports from India. Bombardier truly resembles ‘Make in India for India’ and ‘Make in India for the World’", Dhingra said.
Indian Railways has embarked on a journey to increase mass transportation drive with the high speed bullet trains and by inducting advanced technology in rail transportation. It has also sought private participation.
The Union government is encouraging cities with population above 2 million to develop mass transit systems and it is expected that around 50 cities will have population over 2 million by 2050. These cities will evaluate to adopt metro, monorail or light rail vehicle-based transit system in the coming years. For metros alone, a strong demand will be created with Indian metro rail operators procuring more than 2000 metro cars in the next five years.
He said India has been central to Bombardier Transportation’s overall growth strategy and the firm’s recent investment of around ₹ 230 crore in a railway vehicle manufacturing plant at Savli, Gujarat, is a testimony to it.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 13 February launched Make In India week, the current government’s flagship initiative that was proposed in September 2014 to encourage international companies to manufacture their goods in India.
“Bombardier is focused on projects which we consider as strategic and have long term prospects for our operations in India. Bombardier has increased its staff strength from around 850 employees in 2014 to more than 1300 employees in 2015 with a target to reach around 2200 by 2016. In terms of supporting local economy and employee generation, over 5000 jobs, indirect jobs across local supplier network have been generated across India locations," Dhingra said.
Bombardier’s Savli site is currently makes metro cars for Delhi Metro, and exports commuter cars and bogie components to Australia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.
Its propulsion and controls production/engineering site at Maneja in Vadodara, Gujarat, delivers propulsion solutions for Mumbai suburban rail network along with supplying electricals to Indian Railways for more than a decade.
The Maneja facility received orders worth around 48 million euros from Indian Railways in 2015.
Dhingra said Bombardier Transportation has delivered 614 metro cars to Delhi Metro Rail Corp. (DMRC) with an additional order of 162 metro cars from Delhi Metro. Bombardier is the largest supplier of signaling solutions to Delhi Metro.
“Bombardier has received orders worth $1 billion from Delhi Metro till date for metro cars and signaling solutions," Dhingra said.
In 2015, Bombardier opened an information services global hub and new rail control solutions centre in Gurgaon.
Dhingra said Bombardier is closely pursuing various metro projects in the cities of Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Vijayawada, Vizag and Bengaluru.
“Our manufacturing sites in Gujarat are evaluating exporting rolling stock, propulsion solutions and engineering services to neighbouring Asian countries, Europe, Middle East and South America," he said.
“In India, we have invested around $100 million in the last two decades in local talent, manufacturing facilities, proven technologies and local engineering base," he added.