Alstom’s South African joint venture (JV) company, Gibela, has transferred its team to a new manufacturing plant and training centre complex located in Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni.
Alstom currently owns a majority interest in Gibela, while the remaining stake is owned by local firms Ubumbano Rail and New Africa Rail.
The new facility is anticipated to be used to manufacture 580 six-car X-Trapolis Mega commuter trains over the next ten years for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) as part of a €4bn contract that was originally signed in October 2013.
Gibela’s new site is able to develop five trains per month at peak production and will support more than 1,000 employees.
The majority of the 65 apprentices that were selected last year have also started their training at the new facility’s training centre.
Alstom Middle-East and Africa senior vice-president Didier Pfleger said: “Alstom is very proud of the progress made by Gibela in less than two years to finalise the construction of the plant in Dunnottar.
“The completion is underway for March 2018. All teams are now on-board and ready to start the manufacturing in a brand new factory with new staff and a new supplier base.”
The first South African-built train is expected to be ready for delivery to PRASA by the end of this year.
Alstom’s Brazilian factory in Lapa previously constructed a total of 20 trains last year, including 18 that have since commenced commercial service.
The original contract with PRASA also requires Alstom to provide maintenance services for a 19-year period.