The signing ceremony of CSR general freight locomotive project worth 400 million US dollars took place at Transnet Freight Rail Capital Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Xu Zongxiang, executive director and general manager of CSR Zhuzhou Locomotive Co., Ltd. CSR Zhuzhou and Brian Molefe, CEO of Transnet, signed the contract, marking the debut of Chinese electric locomotives in Africa as well as China’s largest overseas electric locomotive order.
Among attendees were Malusi Gigaba, minister of the Department of Public Enterprises of South Africa, as well as heads of Transnet, the Chinese embassy in South Africa and CSR.
South Africa, most developed rail transit in Africa, boasts a vast railway network with a total length of over 20,000 kilometers and a gauge of 1,067 millimeters, including an electrified length of over 10,000 kilometers, according to sources. Electrified railways in South Africa include 3kV AC, 25kV DC and 50kV railways, posing complex technical requirements to the overline operations of electric locomotives.
Railway construction and management and cargo transport in South Africa is primarily undertaken by the country’s largest state-owned enterprise Transnet, which owns over 2,100 electric locomotives and over 1,400 diesel locomotives, but most have been overage, and the average useful life of 55 percent of the electric locomotives has exceeded 35 years, showing the huge potential of the market demand for product upgrading.
For the last decade, CSR Zhuzhou has attached great importance to the African market, paid close attention to South Africa’s railway revitalization and extension investment plan, and embarked on researches on technical problems including narrow-gauge bogie, 3kV AC/25kV AC hybrid power supply. To win the bid, CSR Zhuzhou has established elite marketing and technical teams early at the stage of bid preparation, conducted elaborate planning, and stood out of nearly foreign peers to win the project contract by its comprehensive advantage in technology, localization, delivery period and cost performance through nearly one year of great efforts.