Hindalco Industries Ltd on Tuesday signed a technology partnership with Italy-based Metra SpA.
The partnership aims to enable the production of large-size aluminium extrusion and fabrication technology for building high-speed aluminium rail coaches in India, said the company in an exchange filing.
Combining Hindalco's vast experience in aluminium manufacturing and Metra's cutting-edge knowhow in aluminium extrusion, machining and welding, the collaboration marks a pivotal move to bring world-class technology – currently limited to Europe, China, Japan and a few other countries – to India, it said.
The tie-up provides Hindalco the launching pad to drive the ambitious upgradation programme of Indian Railways, which runs the world's largest rail network, the company added.
Satish Pai, Managing Director of Hindalco Industries, said, "We are pleased to join forces with Metra to introduce a new era of aluminium extrusions for passenger trains in India."
"This is in line with our capability building for aluminium in commercial vehicles, freight wagons, electric vehicles and passenger train applications. Our combined expertise will undoubtedly enhance the efficiency, durability and sustainable performance of these trains and set new benchmarks for the Indian rail industry," he added.
In the railway sector, extruded aluminium plays a leading role, as it combines weight reduction and mechanical strength. Metra, a 60-year veteran in making aluminium extrusions for the transport sector, specialises in the fabrication and machining of railway extrusions, giving the Italian company additional capabilities to design and supply high-end sub-assemblies for the railways.
Enrico Zampedri, CEO of Metra SpA said, "Collaborating with Hindalco Industries presents an exciting opportunity to showcase the capabilities of our aluminium extrusion technology on a global stage. Together, we are poised to redefine aluminium extrusions for high-speed train manufacturing in India, creating a fusion of strong Italian expertise in this field and Indian market knowledge."
Last October, Hindalco launched India's first all-aluminium lightweight freight rake, which is not just enabling higher speeds and more payload per trip but will save over 14,500 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime. The company also plans to introduce three more designs of freight wagons in the coming months targeting specific commodities such as cement and foodgrains.