Namibia’s national railway TransNamib has signed a $22.7m contract with GE Transportation for six C23EMP diesel locomotives.
The new 1,067mm gauge diesel locomotives are expected to be delivered to Walvis Bay within the next 18 to 20 months.
The new locomotives are an improved version of the existing GE locos that have been in the service of TransNamib for the past 50 years.
These locos will be deployed on trains, to transport sulphuric acid from Tsumeb to Arandis, which will be operated TransNamib under a ten-year contract awarded earlier this year by Dundee Precious Metal Tsumeb.
Since the country’s independence, this order is the company’s first purchase of GE locomotives and they are expected to last for at least 30 years.
The TransNamib governance structures have sanctioned the negotiations and development of the purchase agreement, after a rigorous procurement process.
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GE Transportation for Africa president and CEO Thomas Konditi said: "I can confirm without any hesitation about the governance, ethics, excellent negotiation skills, standard and high level of professionalism the TransNamib Team exhibited throughout the acquisition and negotiation processes.
"I really want to congratulate not only the team, but the entire TransNamib management, the board of directors and the shareholder for making this conscious choice in opting to work with the GE brand in the acquisition of the six locomotives."
The company noted that the execution of the deal is an important milestone in fulfilment of its obligations to transport sulphuric acid from Tsumeb to Arandis.
In June, GE’s Trip Optimiser technology was installed on Florida East Coast Railway’s (FECR) 24 new GE ES44C4 locomotives in order to manage fuel expense while maintaining predictable transit times.
Trip Optimiser is an intelligent, fuel-saving cruise control for locomotive that optimises fuel consumption based on a specific train’s make-up and the route travelled.
This technology is part of RailConnect 360, a connected suite of software solutions that offers data-driven insights and it uses big data to learn a train’s characteristics and then builds an optimal operating plan over a given terrain for the train.