Railways looking to enhance exports to developing countries

August 7th, 2008 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

By Anuradha Shukla
Varanasi, Aug 7 (IANS) Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), an Indian Railways production unit here, is all set to become a hub for exports to developing nations, especially in Africa and the Middle East. “Africa is a potential market and we are looking Tanzania, Mozambique and Sudan as these countries use diesel locomotive engines,” DLW general manager S.M. Bhardwaj said.

Vietnam is another country that DLW is targeting.

“So far, we have exported 101 diesel locomotive engines to developing countries including Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh. And we are already looking to multiply the export by almost five to six times in the next three years,” said chief marketing Manager Arun Kumar Sharma.

“Tanzania and Mozambique are already importing our diesel engines. We have exported 15 engines to Tanzania and have also got the contract for maintenance and operations there,” he said.

Sharma said DLW was also in talks with Middle East countries like Syria.

Owing to unprecedented growth in traffic volume - both passenger and freight - in the past four years, the Railways has embarked on the task of enhancing its capacity by adopting new technologies.

“Viewing the increasing load on Indian Railways, we are switching over to engines with power outputs of 4,000 horse power and above,” Bhardwaj said.

Currently, DLW makes locomotives with power outputs ranging from 2,600 to 4,000 horsepower.

“However the requirement of these developing countries are of 2,400 to 3,000 horsepower. That makes them a potential market for our existing factories as we will be supplying this type of engines to these countries with a little upgrade,” Bhardwaj said.

The government has sanctioned Rs.1.5 billion for upgrading DLW’s Varanasi unit.

“We are already targeting 250 diesel engines this year although the existing capacity is 160,” Bhardwaj said.

The Railways will set up two new factories in Bihar to manufacture locomotives as part of its effort to augment capacity in order to meet the increasing traffic demand.

While the new plant in Madora will manufacture diesel engines of 4,500 horsepower, the factory at Madhepura will produce electric engines.

The factories will be joint ventures with private sector players and are expected to be commissioned in two-three years.

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