General Electric to supply 1000 locomotive to Indian Railways
NEW DELHI: General Electric has won a $2.6 billion (Rs 17,250 crore) order, the biggest in its over 100-year history in India, to supply Indian Railways 1,000 diesel locomotives over 11 years. Under this, the US-based conglomerate will invest $200 million to build local manufacturing and service facilities.
After winning the long-awaited order following competitive bidding, the company said it would build a diesel locomotive manufacturing facility in Marhowra, Bihar, as well as maintenance sheds in Bhatinda in Punjab and Gandhidham in Gujarat.
“This infrastructure project is further evidence of India’s position as a growth engine for Asia,” GE Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said. “It is a major advancement and milestone for India and for GE, and a symbol of our commitment and support of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.”
In a news release, the company said the project would provide skill development opportunities for local talent.
The Marhowra diesel locomotive project marks one of the first major instances of foreign direct investment in enhancing India’s rail locomotive capacity. It comes after the government last year allowed 100% FDI in the railway sector.
“This project combines GE’s deep infrastructure and manufacturing expertise with India’s growth priorities. This is an exciting and integral part of our localisation strategy in India,” said Jamie Miller, chief executive at GE Transportation. “We are excited about working with Indian Railways and continuing to invest in the region.”
GE has operated in India since 1902. The company has doubled its investment in India in the past five years and is bullish on the country’s long-term prospects. It recently said India may soon become a global centre of excellence for certain components, and local sourcing has increased by 20% for locomotives, 30% for power equipment and 15% for aviation. The company is also participating in public-private partnerships with states in sectors such as healthcare.
CEO Immelt was in India recently and had said India’s railway modernisation plans, for which tenders had been opened, illustrated the change in the way things happened in the country. He said while the project had been on the horizon for many years, this was the first time that it was actually happening. This, he said, was a “giant symbol” for the world.
The railway programme, he said, had the potential to bring in significantly higher investment in the country by GE.