Nine bidders rival for Transnet electric-locomotive order in South Africa

7 May 2012 (Last Updated May 7th, 2012 18:30)

South African government-owned rail operator Transnet has confirmed that it has received bids from nine firms for the purchase of 95 electric locomotives.

South African government-owned rail operator Transnet has confirmed that it has received bids from nine firms for the purchase of 95 electric locomotives.

The locomotives will be used by Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) for its general freight business and are expected to be delivered by the end of March 2014.

Transnet has not revealed the names of the bidding companies and has not commented on the ongoing tender, whilst the anticipated cost of the programme will also not be revealed.

The company said its procurement department is currently busy in evaluating the bids and once the process is complete, the preferred bidder will be notified.

In April, Transnet revealed a R300bn ($38.2bn) capital investment plan for the next seven years, under which it plans to purchase 1,000 additional locomotives.

Out of the total investment, Transnet is planning to invest R205bn ($25.66bn) into rail projects and about R151bn ($18.91bn) in general freight business to triple revenue by 2019.

Around R50bn ($6bn) will be invested on Richards Bay coal corridor and R25.9bn ($3.2bn) will be invested in South Corridor, linking the harbours at East London, Ngqura and Port Elizabeth to the interior of the country.

Under its market demand strategy (MDS) programme, TFR will spend R78bn ($9.7bn) to build new locomotives over the next seven years, 50% of which will be spent on local suppliers.

According to the company, overall rail freight volumes are expected to increase from 200 million tonnes to 350 million tonnes by 2019. In addition to growth in mineral traffic, Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) plans to increase its market share of intermodal traffic to 92% from 79%.

This will help support the growth in volume to 170 million tonnes annually. Export coal traffic is expected to increase from 68 million tonnes to 97.5 million tonnes by 2019, while iron-ore exports could rise from 53 million tonnes to 82.5 million tonnes.