Transport and technology manufac-turer Vossloh is continuing its internationalisation strategy and is set to start shipment of a large locomotives order for State-owned enterprise Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), in the second quarter of 2014, with the final shipment taking place by the end of 2016.
Vossloh reports that, in October, it signed a €250-million contract with South African rail company Swifambo Rail Leasing for the supply of 70 locomotives for passenger services in South Africa.
Vossloh has a holding company set up in South Africa and, as a result, several Vossloh business units are present in South Africa.
Vossloh says that it won the Swifambo contract owing to the versatility, power and efficiency of its EURO-family units sourced from Vossloh España, in Albuixech, Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain.
Further, Vossloh says, owing to the green attributes, design components and innovative technology of locomotives, they are ideal to improve the efficiency of rail transport.
Swifambo will supply the locomotives to PRASA, which is revamping and expanding its fleet with Vossloh locomotives.
In October, PRASA rejected the opposition Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) call for the auditor-general to investigate the R35-billion locomotive deal between PRASA and Swifambo, and said it had been outsourced because Transnet would not have been able to deliver.
Engineering News reported that DA spokes- man Ian Ollis said in a statement that Swifambo Rail Leasing was awarded a contract to supply 88 dual, diesel-electric locomotives to PRASA for the Shosholoza Meyl long-distance passenger services.
“Swifambo Rail Leasing will be acquiring these locomotives from Vossloh at R50-million per locomotive. Local train supplier Transnet Engineering’s going rate for locomotives is R25-million,” Ollis said.
“PRASA’s acquisition of locomotives from Vossloh, a foreign company, through Swifambo, is a violation of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework and Treasury regulations on rail rolling stock, which dictate that at least 55% of diesel locomotives and 60% of electric locomotives need to be produced locally,” he said.
Meanwhile, the EURODual locomotives from Vossloh can run on both electrified and nonelectrified lines.
Since only one type of locomotive will be deployed on lines that are only partly electrified, capital outlay, maintenance and operating costs are all reduced.
The contract includes an option for the procurement of additional locomotives, as well as for locomotive maintenance in South Africa. It also comprises training for skills development and transfer.
Vossloh says, in years to come, South Africa is expected to spend billions of euros on revamping its existing railways, rejuvenating its haulage capacities and, above all, expand-ing its entire rail infrastructure.
Vossloh is a global player in the rail tech-nology markets, with the group focused on its core businesses of rail infrastructure, rail vehicles and electric buses.
Vossloh has two divisions, rail infrastruc-ture and transportation.
At Vossloh’s financial year-end 2012, the 5 100-employee company generated sales of €1.2-billion and earnings before interest and tax of €97.5-million.