By Raunak Haldipur
Alstom, on 10th March 2018, said that it has rolled out its first 12,000 HP electric locomotive. The locomotive is part of a 350 crore order for 800 electric double-section locomotives. Signed in 2015, this is a part of the Railway Ministry’s public-private partnership programme to modernise India’s railway infrastructure. Alstom also finalised a deal worth Rs. 600 crore to supply power and provide coaches to Metro corporations in Mumbai, Jaipur and Chennai.
The deal was announced when French President Emmanuel Macron began the first day of his four-day official visit to India. He was expected to visit the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Madhepura in Bihar. According to the deal signed, besides supplying power to Metro projects in Rajasthan and Maharashtra, Alstom will also provide trains to the Chennai Metro Rail Corporation.
The Indian Railways had awarded a project worth Rs. 20,000 crore to Alstom in November 2015 after the commissioning of the factory in Bihar’s Madhepura. The FDI component in the Madhepura project is around Rs. 1,200 crores. The 12,000-hp, double-section locomotive which is part of Alstom’s Prima locomotives family, has a hauling capacity of 6,000 tonnes and is capable of running at a speed of 120 km per hour, which allows faster and safer movement of heavier freight trains across the country, resulting in reduced congestion for passenger train services and freight.
Henri-Poupart Lafarge, Chairman and CEO, Alstom stated in a release, “Our operations in India are paramount to our business globally and we continue to stay committed to developing India’s infrastructure needs, improving the quality of services to citizens and investing in the nation’s economy.” Lafarge also said that this project is the first step in displaying Alstom’s commitment to the ‘Make in India‘ initiative. Other than making available thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly, Alstom has also created a strong localised supply chain for this project with 90% of the components being sourced locally.
Future manufacturing plans
As per the agreement signed in 2015 between Alstom and Indian Railways (IR), IR will manufacture 800 such electric locomotives over the next 11 years in a joint venture with Alstom at the Madhepura locomotive factory situated in Bihar. A total of five locomotives will be assembled at the factory by 2019 and the rest will be made under the “Make in India” initiative. As per schedule, 35 locomotives would be rolled out from the Madhepura factory by 2020, 60 in 2021 and a 100 every year till the target of 800 is met.
This initiative is in line with the Government of India’s and Indian Railways’ target of 100% electrification and sustainable mobility. These new locomotives will go a long way in not only bringing down the operating cost for the railways but significantly cutting down greenhouse gas emissions as well.
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