CEO: Transmashholding wants to export 250 railcars for Cairo metro
MOSCOW, Oct 23 (PRIME) -- Russian railway equipment and railcar producer Transmashholding is interested in taking part in tenders for exports of 250 railcars to the metro of Cairo, CEO Kirill Lipa said in an interview to PRIME published on Wednesday.
“We produce equipment in general and metro railcars in particular at the level of top global companies, and we often excel them by some parameters, so we are capable of fulfilling any order. We will deliver the railcars that meet the requirements of the Cairo metro. There will be several lines and several tenders. We are talking about 250 railcars that should be delivered and installed in the third line,” he said.
The company can comply with requirements of any African country, he said.
Egypt is also interested in buying 100 enhanced-comfort first-class sleeping cars. “Potentially, they want to buy 100 more enhanced-comfort sleeping cars, something like first-class,” he said.
TMH together with Hungarian partners signed a contract to sell 1,300 railcars to Egypt, including three classes of sitting cars, dining cars, and other types of railcars. “This equipment was specifically created under a technical order of the Egyptian railways,” he said.
Egypt is a densely populated country, where the majority of people live in large cities in the north. “They are forced – in a good sense of the word – to develop public transportation, they have no alternative. This will definitely happen,” Lipa said.
During the Russia–Africa business forum that starts on Wednesday and ends on Thursday, Transmashholding plans to sign an additional agreement to finance the contract, its flagship deal.
“A financial package is yet to come in force. It has not come in force because the financing terms have not been legally formalized. We plan to sign an additional agreement during the summit that amends the commercial part of our agreements for the financing conditions,” he said.
The Hungarian Export-Import Bank will work on financing to sign the deal with the Egyptian railways secured by Egypt’s sovereign guarantees. “Correspondingly, the whole amount of solutions connected to signing of this deal should be found until the end of this year,” he said.
The Russian company bought a locomotive plant in South Africa in 2018 as a long-term investment as the railway transport sector in Africa is very promising.
“We have no goal to trumpet profitability in two years. We have a goal of entering the territory, starting production, and developing at a pace at which the continent will develop,” he said.
The Russian company also plans to export locomotives produced at the plant, including to Vietnam and Thailand.
“This plant has unique competences of making locomotives with meter-wide wheel tracks. This is why it is unique, it does not have a global scale from the point of view of markets, but from the point of view of the number of meter-wider fleet it is on the global scale, they are very large and demand for the product is large,” Lipa said.
Meter-wide tracks are not common in Europe, North America, or Russia, but are common in many countries of Africa and Asia, including Indonesia, and in several countries of Latin America. “So far, this is only an idea, but it has potential. We already started entering tenders on a small scale, we already started talking to the countries like Vietnam and Thailand,” Lipa said.
The amount of mineral resources of the continent and its population density also favor development of railway infrastructure.
“First, we believe that Africa will develop as a continent. It is a large territory with many people divided by many borders. Unfortunately, this is why there are no integrational projects, including for railways that could connect the entire Africa. But this will happen inevitably,” Lipa said.