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Alstom seals South Africa train deal

Published on 29/04/2014

A consortium led by engineering group Alstom has concluded a $4,8 billion deal to overhaul South Africa's passenger rail service, the two partners said Tuesday.

Under the 51 billion rand deal, which was first announced in December 2012, Alstom would build 600 trains and 3,600 wagons over a 10-year period for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

The first lot of the trains will be manufactured at Alstom’s Lapa plant in Brazil and delivered to South Africa late next year.

The deal, “one of the biggest railway procurements in the world,” according to Prasa’s CEO Lucky Montana, will create over 30,000 badly-needed jobs in South Africa.

Part of the agreement is that at least 65 percent of the project will be built locally.

This is the first phase of a much bigger, $14-billion project to revamp South Africa’s Metrorail system, including the building of 7,224 commuter trains for Gauteng province — including Johannesburg and Pretoria — Durban, the Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

Some 90 percent of the country’s current rolling stock is said to date back to the late 1950s.