The South African unit of energy and transport solutions group Alstom says it aims to work with domestic suppliers on a range of transport tenders, particularly in the railways environment.
The group held a meeting with potential local suppliers to brief them about what the company will expect during the upcoming Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) tender process.
Prasa released its request for proposal for the manufacturing of new rolling stock, which is the first step in starting its procurement of about 7 200 coaches for Metrorail over the next 20 years. “The company wants to work with local suppliers as part of its commitment to economic development,” said Alstom Transport VP for sourcing Olivier Baril.
About a third of Prasa’s fleet must be retired in the next two to three years as the average age of the fleet is about 40 years, which contributes to making the service provided unreliable.
“We want to help the South African government meet the economic development goals of job creation, skills development and industry transformation, as set out in various government policy documents and guidelines,” said Altstom Transport South Africa MD Yvan Eriau.
“The concept of having a railway system in South Africa is not new and people who have worked in railway infrastructure understand a lot about trains. Alstom is here to assist with the required upgrades of the railway transport system.
We will have people who will progressively be able to manage the upgrades and who will learn to understand the new technology,” he added.
“The Prasa commuter train tender comprises training programmes that will be available to assist in managing and educating people about the new technology that will be introduced.”
He notes that introducing new technology will be a challenging process but people will learn to adapt and accept the changes.
Further, Alstom aims to have 65% local content, which was emphasised as part of the bid condition for the new rolling stock by Prasa.
“Prasa’s minimum local-content requirement is 40% after four years, leading up to 65% after seven years,” said Alstom Transport VP for passenger trains Pierre Fleury.
Alstolm expects the first train to be delivered by the first quarter of 2015 and the South African factory to be completed by June 2015.