South Africa has launched Africa’s first locomotive propulsion facility.
The locomotive propulsion and control manufacturing facility officially started operation in Johannesburg today.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that Bombardier planted the local locomotive propulsion facility as part of its commitment to supply 240 electric locomotives out of the 599 for Transnet.
It was in 2014 that Transnet awarded Bombardier a contract for the supply of diesel and electric locomotives.
As learnt, majority of the locomotives are being built at Transnet Engineering’s plants in Koedoespoort, Pretoria and Edwin Swales, Durban.
The South African government news site reported that “the new 6 000 square meter facility in Johannesburg will produce Bombardier Mitrac high power propulsion equipment for use in the state-of-the-art Transnet Locomotives project.”
The site serve as a testing center for high power traction converters and electrical cubicles.
Come October, it will become the headquarters for Bombardier Transportation in South Africa.
Already, Africa’s first locomotive propulsion facility has 100 people as workers. That figure is expected to increase to 200 by 2017.
Celebrating this achievement, Public Enterprises Director-General, Richard Seleke said: “Transnet’s successful partnership with Bombardier ought to position our country as a regional hub for further development and growth so that we can expand our businesses into the rest of the African continent.”
Transnet’s CEO, Siyabonga Gama added that “Bombardier’s production facility is an integral step in driving localisation, transformation and economic empowerment.”
To Gama, the successful partnership with Bombardier serves a crucial purpose in enhancing and embedding South Africa’s Market Demand Strategy and the role Transnet plays in growing SA economy.
Meanwhile, Bombardier’s Regional President Per Allmer remarked that Bombardier is looking forward to working closely with its South African partners and delivering outstanding quality with unrivaled reliability to the region with their “proven technologies.”
Seleke welcomed that declaring that working together with partners like Bombardier will boost the industrialization of South Africa.
The industrialization of South Africa Seleke said, is expanding with “the transfer of skills and knowledge and by forging strong bonds and partnerships with Bombardier.”