Madhepura: French engineering giant Alstom will start construction of the electric locomotive manufacturing factory at Madhepura from July this year.
After Indian Railways signed agreements with Alstom and US-based GE for the manufacturing of electric and diesel locomotives, respectively, Bharat Salhotra, managing director, Alstom India & South Asia, told that the first five electric locomotives were expected to be imported to India.
According to the contract signed, Alstom will manufacture and maintain 800 electric locomotives for Indian Railways between 2018 and 2028.
“The company has received possession of 275 acres from the railways. The construction of the manufacturing plant will start from July this year and will be ready by early 2019. The company will make an investment of Rs 1,509.18 crore for the project in India. The contract includes establishment of a factory at Madhepura, two depots at Nagpur (Maharashtra) and Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and maintenance of the first 500 locomotives,” Salhotra said.
The Alstom official added that the first five locomotives were expected to be imported from France.
“The construction of the manufacturing unit in Madhepura (240km northeast of Patna) will start in July. According to the contract, we are permitted to import the first five locomotives. However, we are trying to maximise the production of the locos in India. That is our intent,” Salhotra said.
As a part of the deal, Alstom will supply the electric locomotives of 12,000HP each.
The project will be executed by a recently formed joint venture in which Alstom and the Indian Railways will hold a 74 and 26 per cent stake, respectively. Earlier, senior Alstom officials had pointed out that the project would create around 3,000 jobs. In November last year, the Centre signed agreements with Alstom and GE in connection with setting up of manufacturing units of electric and diesel locomotives in Madhepura and Marhawra (Saran), respectively.
The projects would attract investments of Rs 40,000 crore and they are said to be the biggest foreign direct investment in the railway sector.
Richard R. Verma, the US ambassador to India, during a recent visit to Bihar, had announced that 900 of the 1,000 diesel locomotives will be manufactured by GE at the Marhawra plant set to become operational by mid-2018.
During the recent Bihar Entrepreneurship Summit in Patna, Nalin Jain, the president and CEO, GE (rail, mining, defence and aerospace) had told that the construction of the plant at Marhawra (75km northwest of Patna) will start within two months and the construction will take two years.
The official, while adding that the plant will be ready for manufacturing by July 2018, had said the first diesel locomotive will be delivered by the company to the railways by January 2018, that is, six months prior to the completion of the Marhawra plant.
Railway sources said GE had informally taken the possession of the land (226.9 acres) already.
“The authorities at GE have completed the measurement of the land. The lease agreement will be signed by the company within a week from now,” a senior railway official said.