Oct 05, 2012
Prasa to conclude fleet renewal 'as quickly as possible' – MontanaBack
Cape Town|Engineering|Pretoria|Africa|Alstom|Bombardier|PROJECT|Africa|Canada|China|South Africa|Spain|Switzerland|Maintenance|Service|Transport|Lucky Montana|Rail|South Africa
© Reuse this
“It’s an ambitious programme, yes,” he admits.
Prasa owns the Metrorail commuter service.
Prasa confirmed on Monday that seven companies and consortia had submitted bids to build and supply modern commuter trains. The bids were submitted following a request for proposals, which was issued on April 19 and closed on September 30.
CAF, of Spain; Bombardier, of Canada; China South Rail; China North Rail; Gibela Rail Transportation, which is a French consortium comprising Alstom and Actom; Dudula Rail, a consortium comprising ABB South Africa and Stadler of Switzerland; and CSR/Wictra, a consortium comprising CSR, of China, and Wictra of South Africa, are all competing to supply the commuter-rail utility with new rolling stock.
“Seven major companies responded,” says Montana. “We are determined to start evaluation of the bidders’ proposals so we may be able to announce the preferred bidder at the end of November.”
“Our team is focused on finding the partner with the right technology and maintenance plan, plus, they must have the right proposals on economic development, such as job creation. We must also revive the South Africa rail engineering sector.
“Financial close is scheduled for June, July 2013, and by next year we can start producing coaches. We want to conclude this as quickly as possible.”
Montana emphasises that Metrorail will not be “importing any trains”.
“We are making sure we build them in South Africa. We have put a 65% local requirement out there.”
Montana says “many companies” wanted Prasa to postpone the tender process to better prepare their bid submissions, but hebelieves that Metrorail can ill afford such as move.
“One-third of the fleet is between 46 years and 52 years old, and are due for retirement over the next four years. If we delay the process, Metrorail will not have new capacity in place before these trains retire, and the costs will be enormous.”
Montana says each new coach will have a lifespan of 40 years.
“If we do this right, then we can buy five trains as and when we need them, for example. Then we don’t need to do these big buys again.”
He also notes that 30% of the project has been marked down to allow for black economic empowerment.
Montana says Treasury has promised Prasa financial support to execute the fleet-renewal programme.
Looking at Metrorail’s funding model, he says “commuters are not expected to pay for the upgrade”.
He says the rail utility does not currently transport a large enough number of commuters to enable this, while most of Metrorail commuters are also low-income earners. He adds that Prasa’s balance sheet is not strong enough to fund the fleet renewal.
Montana says Metrorail’s funding will have to be sourced from government subsidies, as is currently the case, with another 15% added from the fare box, and the remainder flowing from the development of station properties.
“We are sitting on some valuable land. We must make sure we develop our Park, Pretoria and Cape Town stations, for example. Park station can become a valuable mixed-use development.”
Montana says he is hopeful Metrorail can “reach an understanding” about this funding model with government.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Public Transport News
Updated 9 minutes ago The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is to sink $1-billion into African investments and equities, according to Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. "The PIC will, in the new financial year, also focus on developmental investments in Africa, with a minimum commitment of...
Updated 2 hours 4 minutes ago The lateral movement in the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Copper Theft Barometer for August could again point to the possibility that levels of copper theft were stabilising, the chamber noted on Thursday. The Copper Theft Barometer...
Updated 3 hours ago The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Wednesday ordered the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to repay entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth R250-million plus interest in a case about exchange controls. In a statement on his website, Shuttleworth pledged to put the money,...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The latest TransUnion Vehicle Pricing Index (VPI) contains a number of small, but significant indications that the tide may at last be turning for the beleaguered used car industry. For the third successive quarter, used car inflation has increased on a year-on-year...
The South African new vehicle market is likely to reach around 630 000 units in 2014, down from the 650 000 units recorded in 2013, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl. Van Zyl is also president of the National Association of...
Efforts by the Kenya government to increase energy generation by 5 000 MW over the next three years received a major boost following the award of a $2-billion contract to build a coal power plant in Lamu. Despite allegations of irregular tendering process, the...
Using crafty wordplay on a well-known Internet meme, brilliant South African-born US entrepreneur and businessperson Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors would not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wanted to use its technology. Instead,...
August new vehicle sales declined by 1.4%, to 55 722 units, compared with the same month last year. Assisted by the car rental market, the South African new passenger car market, at 37 953 units, contracted by 1 047 units, or 2.7%, compared with August last year.