New Delhi: US-based GE has emerged the best bidder for Diesel Locomotives manufacturing plant proposed to be set up at Marhowra in Bihar, and French major Alstom is leading the race for setting up the manufacturing unit for Electric Locomotives at Madhepura, making these projects the first instance of major foreign direct investment in Railways.
“The projects have languished for almost 10 years now, but we are confident of awarding them by the end of September The interest shown by foreign companies was very encouraging. This will attract foreign investment and give the railways a big boost,” a senior executive from the Railway Board, which is handling the tender.
The project was pushed by the BJP government at the centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as the two projects would be a big employment generator for the state. The projects are being set up under the public-private partnership model with the Railways owning 26% and the private developer controlling the rest 76%.
The bids for the Rs 20,000 Crore Electric Locomotive manufacturing unit, which opened on Monday saw three global engineering heavyweights — Siemens, Alstom and Bombardier — in the race. It includes an assured procurement of 800 locomotive units by the railways over the next 10 years.
The bids for the Rs 22,000-crore diesel fuelled locomotive unit opened on Tuesday. It entails an assured offtake of 1,000 units over the next 10 years. GE beat the second bidder, Electro-Motive Diesel, people familiar with the matter said. Global majors have been eyeing the Indian transport sector due to the opportunity which comes at a time when their local economies are going slow on building transport infrastructure.
About GE Transportation
GE Transportation, formerly known as GE Rail, is a division of General Electric. The organization manufactures equipment for the railroad, marine, mining, drilling and energy generation industries.
It is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois while their main manufacturing facility is located in Erie, Pennsylvania. Locomotives are assembled at the Erie plant, while engine manufacturing takes place in Grove City, Pennsylvania.
In May 2011, the company announced plans to build a second locomotive factory in Fort Worth, Texas in order to meet increasing demand.
GE Transportation is the largest producer of diesel-electric locomotives for both freight and passenger applications in North America, believed to hold up to a 70% market share. It also produces related products, such as railroad signaling equipment, and parts for locomotives and railroad cars, as well as providing repair services for GE and other locomotives. Current locomotives in major production include the GE Evolution Series; for a complete listing, see the list of GE locomotives.
In the spring of 2007, GE Transportation Systems rolled out a prototype hybrid diesel-electric locomotive to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. In September 2010, GE Transportation announced plans to commercialise a hybrid design by 2014-15.
In addition to the railroad industry, GE Transportation also serves the following industries: Marine, Mining, Stationary Power, Drilling, and Drivetrain Technologies (wind gear boxes)