Extra boost for local locomotive industry

Pretoria – US-based General Electric (GE) Transportation has announced that another locomotive, which forms part of a deal sealed with state-owned Transnet, was delivered with local content that exceeds the commitment from GE’s initial Transnet order of 100 locomotives.

The locomotive is the 42nd and is the most advanced diesel electric locomotive ever built in South Africa. Its official unveiling took place at an event held at Transnet Rail Engineering’s facilities in Koedoespoort, Pretoria, on Wednesday.

With this order, GE overshot its self-imposed target of 30% local content. The locomotives assembled in South Africa have 37% local content.

Transnet concluded an agreement with GE for a further 33 diesel-electric locomotives, over and above the 100 already being purchased under a deal concluded in 2009.

According to the contract, 10 of the locomotives were manufactured in Erie and Grove City, Pennsylvania, USA and 133 are to be assembled locally at Transnet Rail Engineering’s site in South Africa.

A total of 53 will be assembled in the Phalaborwa-Richards Bay corridor, 30 in the Sishen-Saldanha iron-ore corridor, 32 in the Witbank-Nelspruit-Komatipoort line and the remaining 28 will transport coal to Eskom power stations.

GE Transportation President and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli described the delivery of the locomotive as a big milestone.

“We are celebrating the first South African product delivered by our joint venture company GE South Africa Technologies. These locomotives represent great opportunities for Transnet and South Africa as well as GE.”

Transnet would be able to significantly improve hauling capability while reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

He said the partnership with Transnet Rail Engineering demonstrated the progress that GE’s transportation business was making in duplicating its global model of localising content in countries it operates in.

The partnership has also produced a significant investment in job development, economic advancement and infrastructure growth for all parties.

Source: BuaNews – Press Release – 28 June 2012