Business / Companies

South Africa is next stop for train builder

By Xing Zhigang and Li Jiabao (China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-01 07:38

South Africa is next stop for train builder

Employees of CSR E-Loco Supply (Pty) Ltd celebrate the arrival of locomotives in South Africa in November. CHINA DAILY

Market for high-tech locomotives made by Chinese subsidiary looks promising on world's second-largest continent, report Xing Zhigang and Li Jiabao in Johannesburg

A Chinese locomotive manufacturer plans to set up a factory in South Africa after landing a series of major train building deals.

She Yongjun, the commercial manager of CSR E-Loco Supply (Pty) Ltd, said the factory should be in place this year or next, and will target state-owned transport companies.

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Established in 2012, CSR E-Loco Supply is the South African subsidiary of CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co Ltd, part of the giant China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corp Ltd, which is considered the world's largest manufacturer of electric locomotives.

Headquartered in Johannesburg, the business has "huge potential" in South Africa and across the continent, She said.

"The country has the longest railway network in Africa and was the world's leading rail hauler, but it has lost its luster in the past few decades owing to insufficient maintenance.

"By buying Chinese locomotives, with their level of improved technology, South Africa aims to enhance its industrial transport chain."

CSR E-Loco started eyeing the South African market in 2000 and won its first order there in 2012, to provide 95 electric locomotives for Transnet SOC Ltd, a South African rail, port and pipeline company.

The deal was considered the largest overseas electric locomotive deal at that time.

"The buyer was very satisfied with our quality, our delivery times, our service attitude and our efficiency, and ordered another 100 of the same locomotives."

Later that year, Transnet tendered for the supply of a further 1,064 locomotives, 599 electric and 465 to be powered by internal combustion engines.

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