Vale signs contract to enhance EFC locomotives

Evolution Series locomotive fleetVale and Wabtec signed a BRL 1.8 billion (USD 349.5 million) agreement to enhance Evolution Series locomotive fleet operating on the 1,000 km Estrada de Ferro Carajás (EFC) in Brazil.

The 10-year master service agreement will optimise the maintenance services for Vale’s fleet increasing performance, reliability, and the potential for expanded freight transport on the EFC connecting the southeast of Pará to the capital of Maranhão, São Luís.

“This long-term strategic agreement means a new standard of reliability, availability and safety for EFC locomotives, reinforcing our commitment to consistently invest in the quality and technology of our railway operations and promote the technological development of the railway sector in Brazil,” Carlos Medeiros, Vice President of Operations at Vale, said.

Wabtec will analyse locomotive performance data from the last three years at EFC. The company also will provide Vale real-time monitoring on 5,000 parameters of the Evolution Series locomotive fleet operating on the railway. Wabtec’s global performance optimisation centres will evaluate the data and identify opportunities for continuous performance improvement and optimisation of maintenance cycles – reducing towing and failure rates.

In addition to planning and supplying parts for preventive maintenance, the agreement foresees the creation of specialised jobs in São Luís, contributing to the local economy and strengthening regional infrastructure. The job opportunities add specific skills to the sector, preparing the local workforce for advanced technological challenges in the railway industry. Intensive training programs will be carried out with the Vale team, preparing employees to maintain and operate the locomotives with the highest efficiency.

The current capacity of Estrada de Ferro Carajás is 240 million tonnes per year. The fleet consists of 300 locomotives and around 24,000 wagons with an average of 22 pairs of EFC trains circulate per day.

This contract also brings the positive socioeconomic benefits of the Partilhar Program, a Vale initiative that aims to support and encourage its supply chain to contribute to the sustainable development of the regions where it operates. Social investments in local communities add to other programs already developed by Wabtec through Voluntec, a group of company employees who focus their actions on the areas covered by the contract.

Vale and Wabtec have worked together for almost three decades to supply locomotives, materials, and components for the EFC. In July 2023, the two companies also announced an agreement for the purchase of three FLXdrive battery locomotives, which will operate for the EFC. The two companies also plan to study ammonia as an alternative fuel to diesel.


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