Swiss rolling stock manufacturer Stadler has signed an agreement with PT Inka to form a joint venture (JV) for the development and manufacture of rolling stock at the Banyuwangi facility in east Java.

Stadler will transfer technology and provide training to local staff following the order of 500 suburban rail coaches, with an option for 500 more.

Stadler noted that the JV marked a ‘strategically important leap’, which would offer the company a base from which it could gain access to the wider Southeast Asian market.

In January, PT INKA started building the production facility in Banyuwangi. It is expected to start production in 2021.

Works such as manufacturing, pre-assembly, final assembly and commissioning of the rolling stock will be carried out at the new facility.

Stadler Board of Directors chairman Peter Spuhler said: “Stadler is proud to have signed the joint venture contract with PT Inka today. Following several failed attempts to successfully enter the Asian market from Europe, we realised that this was not possible without a production site on the spot.

“We, therefore, decided to look for a suitable local partner, and have finally managed to find one after more than ten years of searching. This has enabled us to make the leap to Asia.

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“We are convinced that in PT INKA, we have found a professional partner for this joint venture. The new production site in Indonesia consolidates Stadler’s market entry in Asia and creates the best possible conditions for achieving growth in the region.”

Last week, Stadler received a €27m contract from Norway’s Bybanen Bergen to supply six additional Variobahn trams.

Earlier this month, it won a contract to deliver up to 50 Tramlink trains to Swiss public transport operator Bernmobil.