Titagarh Wagons Ltd (TWL) on Wednesday said the consortium it set up with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is the sole fully Indian entity among the five bidders for the Rs 72,000 crore Vande Bharat trains contract.
TWL, the engineering and wagon major, also said it has lined up Rs 700 crore capex over the next 4-5 years to ramp up its production capacity and related infrastructure.
The upcoming steel body facility at Uttarpara in West Bengal will strengthen TWL's coach-building capabilities in both aluminium and steel bodies, a senior company official said.
"The company after forming a consortium with BHEL is one out of five bidders for Vande Bharat. We remain optimistic. We are the only truly Indian consortium as both partners are Indians," TWL director (marketing & business development) Prithish Chowdhary told PTI in a telephonic interview.
The other bidders are German-based Siemens with BEML, Medha Engineering with Swiss company Stadler Rail, Russian Transmashholding and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited. French firm Alstom is bidding alone.
"BHEL is the lead partner but the scope of work is almost equal. The finer details will have to be worked out based on operational efficiencies of each of us if we get the contract," he said.
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The Vande Bharat tender is for the supply of 200 trains from design, manufacturing, and testing to commissioning with a maintenance contract of 35 years.
The total estimated value of 200 trains is to the tune of roughly Rs 72,000 crores and is expected to be completed in the next 3-4 years.
This contract would be awarded to two bidders - the lowest will get 120 trains and the second lowest 80 trains.
The trains will have to be built at the manufacturing facilities of the Indian Railways.
Chowdhary declined to predict any timeline for the selection of the two bidders but stated it wouldn't be long as the government is committed to Atmanirbhar Bharat (policy) and local manufacturing.
He said, "We are implementing expansion in various projects to build capabilities for the future. In the last three years, we have invested Rs 300 crore and lined up Rs 700 crore in the next 4-5 years."
Speaking about the capacity expansion, Chowdhary said, the immediate target is to ramp up wagon-making capacity to 700 per month by this March and it will be increased to 800-900 in a phased manner over a period of time.
TWL is executing an order of 24,177 wagons which has to be supplied by August 2025.
The company has an annual capacity of 200-240 aluminium-bodied coaches, but with the completion of the ongoing steel body coach facility at the Uttarpara plant, total production capacity will increase to 400 units a year, Chowdhary said.
TWL was also a bidder for the Bengaluru Metro contract. The company is executing a contract for 102 coaches for Pune Metro.
TWL in the past took over the Italian railway company Firema SPA which has enhanced its technical capabilities on modern transport coaches.
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