Siemens to join bid for SRT project

Economy May 23, 2012 00:00

By Sasithorn Ongdee
The Nation

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Global giant to join hands with Cho Thavee to put in for 115 train coaches

Siemens, a global leader in high-speed rail systems, is getting ready to form a joint venture with Thai manufacturer Cho Thavee Dollasien (CTV DOLL) to participate in the upcoming bid for 115 train carriages worth Bt4.92 billion from the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).

If it wins, then this will be the first time for this global giant to enter Thailand’s railway industry despite being in the Kingdom for a long time.

Hans-Joeng Grundman, chief executive officer for Siemens' Rail Systems Division under its Infrastructure and Cities Sectorn, said yesterday that the firm and its Thai unit had already agreed to collaborate with CTV DOLL when bidding for the passenger carriages.

SRT should tender the bidding at the end of this year or early next year.

“Siemens is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with CTV DOLL by the end of this month,” Grundmann said, adding that there is a possibility of it being a 50:50 venture.

According to the bidding conditions, the winner has a minimum of 18 months to supply the coaches to SRT.

Cho Thavee Dollasien is a leading manufacturer of trailers, semi-trailers, truck bodies and catering high-loaders for flight kitchens in Asia Pacific, and is a 93:7 collaboration between Thailand’s Khon Kaen Cho Thavee (1993) and Germany’s Emil Doll respectively. The venture was established and registered in 1994.

CTV DOLL has offices and service partners in cities such as Oppenau in Germany, Singapore, Tokyo and Nagoya in Japan, Hong Kong and Manila in the Philippines. Exports accounted for 80 per cent of the company’s trade last year.

Following a framework of the agreement, CTV DOLL’s facility in Khon Kaen will be responsible for setting up manufacturing and maintenance facilities in Thailand as well as detailed engineering and assembling of the coach interiors using local materials and manufacturing and painting the chassis of the passenger cars.

Siemens, meanwhile, will be responsible for the design and providing technical supervision including assistance with car assembly at the CTV DOLL factory, detailed engineering works of the chassis, as well as manufacturing and supplying the bogies and other major equipment, Grundmann said.

“We have known CTV DOLL for five or six years and have learned that it is very capable in technical terms. That is why we decided to work with it in the upcoming SRT project,” he said. Apart from Siemens, companies from South Korea, China and Japan are also interested in joining the bidding process.

“We will go step by step ... pricing is not the only factor. There are other factors too, such as quality and safety, meaning a longer lifecycle of trains that can save on maintenance,” Grundmann said.

In terms of other projects, he said, Siemens was currently in the “standby” mode waiting for bidding tenders for things such as the Mass Rapid Transit Authority’s Blue and Purple lines and the SRT’s Red Line.

He said high-speed train projects in Thailand should focus on achieving a speed of about 160 kilometres per hour, adding that the government had told him that a high-speed train from Bangkok to Rayong was possible after the lines to Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Korat were completed.

In Asia, Siemens has won several railway-related projects in Malaysia, India, Taiwan and China.

Last year, Siemens’ Rail System Division posted revenue of 3.5 billion euros (Bt140 billion), of which Asia accounted for 20 per cent, followed by the European Union at 40 per cent and Russia at 20 per cent.