||19 April 2010
Canadian train maker sees opportunities in Malaysia
Bombardier Inc, a Canadian aircraft and electric trains manufacturer that made Malaysia its regional headquarters last year, is confident of higher demand for its rail transportation solutions as the country’s ridership increases, reported local daily the StarBiz.
Vice-president Asia Pacific David Allen said Bombardier believed the ridership of public transport in Malaysia especially for light rail transit (LRT) in the Klang Valley would rise in line with the recent development.
Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, a state-owned public transport operator, has embarked on a RM7bil extension project on its two LRT lines in the Klang Valley.
Bombardier is supplier of the new 35 sets of four-car trains for Prasarana for the Kelana Jaya Line. The parts of the trains are manufactured by Bombardier and will be assembled by Hartasuma Sdn Bhd in Malaysia.
To-date Bombardier has delivered 10 sets, the latest of which was handed over on March 31 in conjunction with the launching of the 1Malaysia four-car train. The daily LRT ridership for the Kelana Jaya Line and Ampang Line collectively stands at about 300,000.
The government has targeted to boost public transport usage to 25% by 2012 from the current 16 percent.
“Besides the current development, I believe there will more rail projects coming up especially for areas such as in Johor Baru and Penang,” said Allen.
On its regional headquarters, Allen said Kuala Lumpur was an obvious choice based on the location, people and Bombardier’s business here.
“Prasarana is one of our biggest customers in the region and the Bombardier-Hartasuma consortium is working on the four-car train project to be fully delivered by next April.
“We also have other offices in the region as we prefer to assemble our trains at a location close to our customers. This is because we can train the locals in terms of operation and maintenance, and the cost is more competitive,” he said.
Allen said for the four-car train set or Innovia Art 200, the local content was more than 30 percent. “We plan to increase that in the future as opposed to the first batch of trains for the Kelana Jaya Line that was fully imported.
“Besides the train, our aircraft are also used by the Malaysian Government,” he said, adding that Bombardier and Hartasuma were also looking at opportunities to work together on overseas projects as well.
On training and transfer of technology, Allen said RapidKL under Prasarana had operated the LRT operations from the very start.
Besides Malaysia, the region’s public transportation demand had also been growing steadily, he said. “Public transport demand in terms of rail transportation is growing in the region especially in Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea and China,” he said.
Currently, Allen said Bombardier had rail projects in South Korea, Guangzhou in China, Taiwan and Malaysia. “We have also expressed our interest to be involved in the light transit vehicle project in Gold Coast, Australia,” he said.
Allen said Bombardier was currently working on a new type of train, the Innovia 300.
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