The Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura, and Alstom CEO, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, officially inaugurated Alstom’s Ubunye rail factory in Ekurhuleni, South Africa.
Since 2016, factory entered transformational programme to supply components for 150 trains to Gibela Rail JV where the new Prasa trains are being built. “The unique transfer of technology from our sites across the world has created a rail factory hub with world-class competencies. We are confident in the future of South Africa and have established this industrial footprint with a long-term vision to be an African Rail Hub of excellence,” Lafarge said.
A significant investment has been undertaken in upskilling employees and installing state of the art equipment such as advanced robot technology. The factory has recently been certified to EN 15085 CL1 and ISO 3834-2, the highest welding certification level in the industry, globally. This CL1 certification applies to safety critical components such as bogie frames, End Under Frames (EUF) and anti-intrusion boxes.
The 80,000 m2 plant has a monthly capacity of 62 bogies, 62 end under frames, 20 traction cases and 10 Static Inverters. It will also manufacture looming, cubicles and PACIS (Passenger Public Address, Closed Circuit Television and Information Systems), and prepare to serve the expected increasing demand for rail innovation in Sub-Saharan countries.
Through the modernisation of Alstom Ubunye, Alstom has established an African rail company with local partners (IDC and CTE), creating a stronger industrial and commercial base with the purpose to offer a complete transport portfolio to address Southern Africa’s railway transport needs.
Alstom has two South African joint-venture companies, Alstom Ubunye and the Gibela Rail Transportation Consortium, performing the activities at two factories situated in Ekurhuleni, near Johannesburg.
Both JV’s are well established South African companies, with local partners, more than 95% local employees, with unique skills and technology transfer programmes.