Transnet seals deal with Chinese train maker

2014-12-04 18:26

Transnet has signed a manufacturing pact with Chinese company CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive (CSR) witnessed by President Jacob Zuma and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Transnet CEO Brian Molefe and CSR chairperson and president Zhou Qinghe signed the memorandum of understanding in Beijing, the South African parastatal’s spokesperson Mboniso Sigonyela said today.

“In terms of the agreement, Transnet and CSR will contribute their respective expertise and will leverage their unique expertise and experience and provide access to the know-how of their highly qualified and specialised business divisions.”

Areas the companies might pursue together included establishing a research and development facility and manufacturing plants in South Africa, as well as starting and developing business opportunities in Africa.

Possible skills transfer programmes, such as the establishment of a training centre in South Africa, and starting a refurbishment and manufacturing plant were also potential joint ventures.

“Initially, Transnet will make available its manufacturing facilities in South Africa, while the OEM [original equipment manufacturer] will provide the technology that will enable the manufacture and maintenance of locomotives and core rail components.”

CSR would enter into a joint venture with Transnet, and the resultant entity will be based in South Africa.

“Transnet will facilitate the setting up and also investigate opportunities for free trade agreements between South Africa and China.

Molefe and a team of senior executives are part of the delegation of business leaders who accompanied Zuma on his state visit to China.

Sigonyela said Molefe was expected to sign a similar agreement with China CNR Corporation, which produces diesel locomotives.

“CSR ... was one of four manufacturers which Transnet awarded a R50 billion contract for the building of 1 064 locomotives earlier this year.

“The other three were China CNR Corporation, German-based Bombardier Transportation and United States’ General Electric”

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