South Africa: Alstom Break Ground on Train Manufacturing Facility
Alstom, via its South African joint venture company Gibela, has broken ground on the construction of a new manufacturing facility, which will manufacture 580 X’Trapolis Mega suburban trains for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The ground breaking ceremony took place in Dunnotar near Johannesburg, attended by South African Minister of Transport, Minister Dipuo Peters, the executive Mayor of the local Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, Mr. Mondli Gungubeleand, Mr. Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom Chairman and CEO and Mr. Marc Granger, Gibela Chief Executive Officer.
The construction of the facility is expected to be complete in 18 months. The 60,000m2 site will produce 3,480 coaches over the next decade, employing 1,500 people. The facility will provide manufacturing, assemblage and testing centres, as well as an academic training centre, workshops, office buildings and a test track. The first locally manufactured train will be delivered by 2017.
Henri Poupart-Lafarge said:
“After successfully delivering the first two X’Trapolis Mega commuter trains on time, Alstom is pleased to have reached another key milestone for this significant project. This new factory will be a catalyst for the revitalisation of the rail industry in South Africa through localmanufacturing, high local supply level, employment creation and skills development. Alstom is proud to be involved in this new era of rail in the country.”