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Bombardier, Reliance Energy in talks for Hyderabad metro project

Amit Mitra

While REL will be handling the power supply part of the project, Bombardier will be handling the transportation aspect, including vehicle manufacturing.

Recently in Milan

THE Canadian transportation major Bombardier Inc plans to form a strategic alliance with Reliance Energy for bidding for the proposed Rs 6,000-crore Hyderabad metro project.

Speaking to newspersons on the sidelines of the three-day Eurail 2005 exhibition held recently in Milan, Italy, Mr. A. Wennberg, Bombardier's Vice-President and Chief Technical Officer, said, "Talks are on with Reliance Energy. We expect to sign an agreement shortly."

He said he did not wish to disclose the equity that Bombardier will be holding in the joint venture.

Bombardier is one of the world market leaders in the total transit systems segment, with a 40 per cent global market share. "In the last two years, we bagged some significant projects, such as the management of two out of the three London Underground system and the construction of the new Rapid Transit System in South Africa," Mr Wennberg said.

While REL will be handling the power supply part of the project, Bombardier, a leading manufacturer of transportation solution ranging from regional aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, will be handling the transportation aspect, including vehicle manufacturing. The metro project is proposed to be 56-km-long.

Bombardier's plans for India: He pointed out that if the Hyderabad project with REL came through, it would mean a significant step in Bombardier's future investments in India. The transportation major is attaching significant importance to the Hyderabad project, after it failed to bag the Delhi metro project and proposed Mumbai metro project.

In fact, Bombardier is looking for fresh investments in India in the rail transportation segment, after the successful manufacturing process of WAP5 and WAG9 locomotives in India and the new traffic management system for the Mumbai commuter rail system. The company has a manufacturing facility in Vadodara for production of propulsion components and rail control solutions.

Success in China: Bombardier's India strategy is akin to the one it has developed for China, where it has three joint ventures manufacturing metros, high-speed trains and coaches, as well as propulsion systems. The partnership approach that Bombardier implemented in China has led to the company leading several key projects in that country, such as the supply of 40 high-speed trains to the Chinese railways and the new people mover system to the Beijing airport.

Since the beginning of the transfer of technology process related to WAP5 and WAG9 locomotives in India, Bombardier has invested some $80 million in the country.

"As far as future investments in India are concerned, we can say at this moment that we will try to participate in all projects in India in which Bombardier technology demonstrates to be an adequate solution," Mr Wennberg said.

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