Škoda Electric company has achieved yet another success on the Chinese market. At the beginning of March, the company from Plzeň signed a new contract on the delivery of drives and motors for forty metro trainsets which will be used in the Chinese city of Suzhou. The contract volume exceeds 1.1 billion Czech crowns.
In Suzhou, which has around seven million inhabitants, Škoda Electric has at its disposal a production bae within the framework of its joint Czech and Chinese company Škoda Kingway Electric. It is a joint venture of Škoda Electric from Plzeň and the Chinese company Jiangsu Kingway Transportation focused especially on the delivery of complete traction drives, traction motors and other equipment. The Škoda Kingway Electric company was established in 2010 and it employs approximately 150 employees in total.
The first trainsets from the newly concluded order will already be in operation on the new No.: 4 line in Suzhou by next year. The main deliveries of forty vehicles should take place in 2015 and 2016. The newly concluded contract, however, is not the first one for the Škoda company in Suzhou. “We took part in deliveries of complete equipment for metro cars of line No.: 2 – we delivered equipment for 23 five-car metro trainsets. It was our historically first breakthrough contract on the Chinese market in the modern history of the Škoda company. These trainsets have been running with passengers since the turn of the year, and the references regarding quality and reliability of the equipment delivered by us have been very positive,” says Jaromír Šilhánek, the CEO of Škoda Electric.
The first successful order was followed by a second one when the city of Suzhou decided to extend the said metro line and invited tenders for more vehicles. “In autumn of last year we were successful in winning a new tender and we signed a contract for an additional 17 complete equipment sets of five-car metro trains. The first sets of deliveries for these vehicles have already been completed,” says Jaromír Šilhánek.
The most recent, third, delivery of equipment for forty metro trainsets has a somewhat different technical concept than the previous series. “The prepared trainsets are longer, they have six cars compared to the previous ones which had only five. This brings along a series of important technical modifications, but it also shows the continuous growth taking place in China – it is necessary to transport more and more passengers, and this is why not only metro trainsets are made longer but also the platforms of the individual stations are extended,” adds Jaromír Hájek, head of the sales department of the Pohony (Drives) division at Škoda Electric.
All three mentioned contracts represent a total financial volume of approximately two billion Czech crowns. Škoda is interested in a range of other potential deliveries in China – for example, the construction of additional metro lines is planned in the hometown of Suzhou. “China is a dynamically developing market where only a company which offers state-of-the-art technology can succeed. Today, thanks to a positive reference, because our first metro trainsets are already operating, we note that other towns planning the new construction of metro lines are also interested in our products. We are, however, also looking for new projects in the field of railway transportation and tram systems which are also undergoing a great boom, especially because of their faster implementation at significantly lower costs than in the case of metro systems,” adds Jaromír Šilhánek.
In addition, in June of last year, Škoda Transportation signed a contract with the Chinese company CSR Sifang Quingdao Co.Ltd. on providing a licence for technologies for the production of low-floor trams of the ForCity (15T) type. The first prototype has been produced in China recently and the company CSR Sifang Quingdao is launching this modern vehicle on the local market.