Alstom announced that PRASA (Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) and Gibela (1), have concluded the financial close of the contract signed on the 14 October 2013 for the supply of 600 X’Ttrapolis Mega commuter trains (3,600 cars) over a period of 10 years. The contract includes the construction of a local manufacturing facility in Dunnottar, 50 km east of Johannesburg. In addition, Gibela will provide technical support and supply of spare parts over an 18-year period. The overall value of this contract is worth € 4bn.
This project is one of the biggest in rail transport worldwide and is the largest contract ever signed in Alstom’s history. It confirms the intent of the company to establish itself as a leader in fast growing markets. It also marks a significant milestone in Alstom’s strategy to strengthen its presence at both global and local levels, thanks to its worldwide industrial footprint and strategic partnerships that enable proximity with its customers.
PRASA will be supplied with the X’Trapolis Mega, the new X’Trapolis train developed by Alstom to fit South Africa’s 1.067 m gauge. The first 20 trains will be produced at Alstom’s Lapa plant in Brazil. Then the 600,000 m² manufacturing site in Dunnottar will produce the 580 trains destined for manufacture in South Africa and will house an engineering centre and training facility.
The project will create over 1,500 direct jobs in the local factory and 33,000 indirect jobs over 10 years, achieving a local content level of over 65%. 19,000 people will be trained by Alstom during the project. Alstom’s French sites in Ornans, Tarbes, Le Creusot, Reichshoffen, Villeurbanne and Saint-Ouen will also be involved in the project as well as the sites in Sesto in Italy and Charleroi in Belgium.
PRASA was formally established in December 2008, when the President signed the Legal Succession Act into law. This completed the consolidation of the various entities (Metrorail, Autopax, Shosholoza Meyl and Intersite) into PRASA from what were the South African Rail Commuter Corporation and Transnet. PRASA has 17 000 employees, 76% of which are employed by Metrorail.
Gibela is a South African rail company born out of a consortium that was awarded PRASA’s 10-year rolling stock programme to design, manufacture and deliver 600 passenger trains. The company will establish a state-of-the art manufacturing facility in Dunnottar; localise the manufacture of components for the new fleet and create jobs on a sizeable scale. In tandem with managing local content of more than 65%; Gibela will facilitate the development of local rail-sector relevant skills and the transfer of technical know-how. As Gibela’s majority shareholder and major supplier, Alstom will play a significant role in the transfer of historical technological expertise in suburban rail transport which includes the robust design-proven X’Trapolis family and its X’Trapolis Mega (MEtric GAuge) − a safe, reliable and comfortable train, specifically designed for South Africa.
(1) A joint venture led by Alstom and co-owned by local shareholders, Ubumbano Rail and New Africa Rail.