Bombardier Transportation has opened its new South African production facility and headquarters during an event in Isando, Johannesburg on 25 August 2016. The ceremony was attended by Bombardier suppliers, guests, partners and Transnet Group Chief Executive Siyabonga Gama.
Bombardier won a contract in April 2014 from Transnet to supply electric locomotives as part of a 50 billion ZAR contract. Most of the locomotives are being manufactured at Transnet Engineering’s plants in Koedoespoort, Pretoria and Edwin Swales in Durban. The project is intended to boost the local economy by requiring all bidders to commit to a localisation clause with regard to technology transfer, supplier development and job creation.
The new facility is 6,000 square metres. It will produce the Bombardier Mitrac high-powered propulsion equipment for use in the cutting-edge Transnet Locomotives project. Bombardier is supplying 240 Bombardier Traxx Africa locomotives for the project. The facility will also house a testing centre for high-power traction converters and electrical cubicles. From October 2016, the facility will act as the headquarters for Bombardier Transportation in South Africa.
Bombardier’s activities in the African transportation market, by way of job creation and its European facilities, will enable the transfer of technology and expertise to the South African rail industry. From August 2016, the new Johannesburg facility has 100 employees, with that number expected to double by 2017.
Mr Siyabonga Gama, Transnet Group Chief Executive, said:
“Bombardier’s production facility was an integral step in driving localisation, transformation and economic empowerment. The successful partnership with Bombardier serves a crucial purpose in enhancing and embedding our Market Demand Strategy – and the role Transnet plays in growing our economy.”
Per Allmer, President, Bombardier Transportation, Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, said:
“We are proud to play such a large role in the development of the country’s mobility evolution and transformation and look forward to not only working closely with our South African partners, but also to delivering outstanding quality and unrivalled reliability to the region with our proven technologies.”
Bombardier’s activities is South Africa support a local supply chain which will engender a sustainable future for the national industry. In excess of 60% of the Transnet contract scope is localised as part of that goal.
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