Developers Alstom have claimed its new train manufacturing site will deliver 3,840 coaches over the next ten years
The 60,000 sqm site in the town of Dunnotar, close to Johannesburg, is currently under construction through the developer’s joint venture company Gibela.
Construction of its new manufacturing site which began on 4 March, is in order to build 580 suburban trains for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).
Its site was opened in the presence of the South African Minister of Transport, Minister Dipuo Peters, the executive Mayor of the local Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, Mondli Gungubeleand, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom chairman and CEO and Mr Marc Granger, Gibela chief executive Officer.
Building is expected to take 18 months and will be delivered in phases, with the very first South African-manufactured train to be completed by the end of 2017.
Alstom claim around 1,500 people will be employed at the manufacturing, assembly and testing facilities.
They say the site will include an academic training centre, large workshops, office buildings, as well as a test track and test facility required for the new trains.
Alstom Chairman and CEO Henri Poupart Lafarge said Alstom was pleased to have reached another milestone for the project.
He added, “This new factory will be a catalyst for the revitalisation of the rail industry in South Africa through local manufacturing, high local supply level, employment creation and skills development. Alstom is proud to be involved in this new era of rail in the country”.
Alstom has been present in South Africa for many years and was awarded a PRASA contract worth around US$4.3 bn in October 2013, the largest contract in the history of the company.
The contract also includes a 19-year service agreement.