Pretoria: Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has announced the winning bidders of Transnet’s tenders for the procurement of 1 064 locomotives for its general freight business (GFB) on Monday.
The winning bidder is a joint venture between Chinese manufacturer; CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive (CSR) which has 70 percent stake and Matsetse Basadi which owns the remainder and the joint venture will be known as CSR E-loco Supply.
According to the minister, the announcement followed an open and public tender process which drew interests from leading manufactures around the world.
He said the proposals which closed in April were evaluated by different sub-teams of specialists from Transnet in line with the company’s governance processes, adding that the evaluation was overseen and monitored by Transnet Internal Audit.
The consortium and Transnet have agreed on a tight delivery schedule that will see the first batch of locomotives delivered to Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) by December 2013, while the last batch is planned to be delivered in September 2014.
Again, the parties agreed to produce the majority of the locomotives in South Africa. However, the first 10 locomotives will be assembled in CSR’s factories in China, while the remainder will be made in South Africa in line with the agreed supplier development targets of 60.5 percent of the total value of the contract.
The locomotives come with a 30-month warranty and a six-year warranty on the traction motors. Gigaba said localisation, sustainability and skills development had the highest weighting within the supplier development.
Transnet Group Chief Executive Officer, Brian Molefe, said the purchase was part of Transnet’s long-term fleet renewal programme to increase capacity while at the same time improving the average age of its fleet.
He said this was aimed at delivering on the requirements of the Market Demand Strategy (MDS). In terms of the MDS, TFR is expected to grow its volumes from the 201 million tonnes per annum to over 350 million tonnes in just seven years.
According to Molefe, the locomotives are configured to operate under both the 3kv DC and 25kv AC power, allowing TFR flexibility to deploy across its general freight business network.
This has significant benefits for efficiency and productivity as it reduces operating cycle times by saving up to six hours traction type change overs which result from different voltage supplies.
“Other benefits are that locomotives are more energy efficient as they use less power on TFR’s DC drive technology; capable of regenerating back to the power grid or for own re-use; longer maintenance cycles of 90 to 120 days compared to the current 36 to 60 days as well as better design for driver comfort.
“In addition to the 95 locomotives which was accelerated due to urgent requirements and had already gone through the governance processes, Transnet has invited additional proposals for the supply of 1 064 locomotives (465 diesel and 599 electric locomotives),” he said.
These are to meet and maintain the MDS volumes targets in line with the company’s R300 billion seven-year investment programme.