India to get its first aluminium train wagon soon

April 3rd, 2008 - 4:31 pm ICT by admin  

By Jatindra Dash
Bhubaneswar, April 3 (IANS) The National Aluminium Co Ltd (Nalco) will join up with Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) to produce the country’s first aluminium railway wagons. The two public sector undertakings (PSU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Bangalore recently.

“We have signed a MoU with BEML to produce at least one wagon initially for a test run. Later we will go for mass production,” said C.R. Pradhan, company chairperson and managing director.

“Nobody in India produces aluminium wagons. We will be the first,” Pradhan told IANS.

Subsequently, metro coaches will also be produced.

Aluminium wagons and coaches have several advantages because they are lighweight, have higher carrying capacity and are more environment-friendly.

The new wagons would be seven to eight tonnes lighter and carry seven to eight tonnes more weight.

“We expect to produce a standard aluminium freight wagon by the end of March 2009 for a test run. We have already created the design of the wagon that will be built and it has been approved by Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) of the Indian Railways,” Pradhan said, adding that it would be a 50:50 collaboration with both companies spending an equal amount on the project.

Nalco is the flagship public sector enterprise of India’s ministry of mines and the country’s largest manufacturer and exporter of alumina and aluminium.

The company has reported 104.12 percent capacity utilisation of its aluminium smelter at Angul, producing 359,213 tonnes of aluminium cast metal in 2007-08 compared to 358,734 tonnes in the previous year.

Its alumina refinery at Damanjodi has reported 100.04 percent capacity utilisation with a production of 1.5 million tonnes of alumina hydrate against 1.4 tonnes in the previous year.

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