Brazil: Alstom Opens New Production Line at Taubaté Factory
Alstom Transport has opened a new production line at its factory in Taubaté, Brazil. The line will principally manufacture 166 stainless steel car-shells for modernising trains on the Santiago metro in Chile. These new trains will be called NS16 and will be rubber-tyred.
The opening of the new line is part of the resumption of industrial activities at the factory after the end of production of 32 Citiadis trams for Rio de Janeiro. The revenue from the production of the car-shells will cover the cost of hiring new employees for the factory.
After the shells are manufactured in Brazil they will be shipped to one of Alstom’s sites in Chile, which will assemble the entire trains. In addition to Taubaté, some car-shells will also be produced at another Alstom Brazil factory in Lapa. The total number of car-shells produced in Brazil will be sufficient to upgrade 35 trains for the Santiago metro, which was originally built by Alstom in the 1970s.
This new announcement is an update on a contract Alstom was awarded in 2014 to modernise the NS74 fleet on the Santiago Metro, extending its life-span by 20 years. Given the challenges in modernising the NS74 fleet (the number ’74’ refers to the year the vehicle was designed, i.e. 1974), Alstom agreed with its client, the Metro de Santiago, to fulfil and amend the contract, renewing all 35 trains in the contract, with engineering, fabrication and assembly.
Pierre-Emmanuel Bercaire, Managing Director for Alstom Brazil, said:
“The resumption of the industrial activities in Taubaté site is a very important mark for us all and reinforces our commitment with the country and the region. This site is a modern plant, equipped and prepared to receive railway projects coming from Brazil or any other country in the world, generating employment and bringing development for our region.”
Since the Taubaté factory opened in 2015 Alstom has invested around R$ 50 million (12 million of euros) in remodelling the 16,000 square-metre site, which can produce up to seven stainless steel car-shells per month.
By 2020 the Taubaté facility will employ approximately 120 people in administrative and operational roles. Employees from the operational area were trained during the second quarter of 2018 and some workers from the Lapa site were transferred to continue the project. The training of the operational employees was in partnership with SENAI (National Industrial Learning Service), which provides industrial training and degree education around Brazil.
Alstom has operated in Brazil since the 1950s and has sites in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília and Porto Alegre. The company’s sites in other Latin American countries, besides Santiago include Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lima, Mexico City and Panama.