Alstom is making a huge technology transfer from its worldwide centre of excellence at São Paulo to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) for the manufacture of X’Trapolis suburban trains.
This transfer covers the training and development of South African engineers, designers, technicians, train drivers and technologists in the areas of engineering, quality, logistics, occupational health and safety, project management, manufacture and test and commissioning. It is due to be complete by mid-2018.
By the end of 2017, more than 100 South African employees will be ready to work at the Alstom plant that is current being built in South Africa.
They begin their basic training in their own country and then travel to Brazil to where they are trained by current Alstom employees.
Alstom’s general director of the Lapa unit Rosângela Tsuruda said: “This integration is necessary to conclude this project with the same quality that is executed in Brazil, and we are certain that the South African population will benefit from a very reliable product.”
The first 20 trains will be manufactured and delivered from the Lapa unit in São Paulo but the other 580 trains will be made in South Africa, where Gibela – the consortium led by Alstom, with Ubumbano Rail and New Africa Rail – is building a 600,000 square metre plant in Dunnottar, 50km from Johannesburg.
At peak production 62 trains will be made each year, creating more than 1,500 direct jobs at the facility.
The deal with PRASA – the largest in Alstom’s history – was signed in 2013 as part of a modernisation of the rail industry in South Africa.