Lloyd’s Register Rail (Asia) Limited has been appointed to lead the systems-engineering work for the CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Co. Ltd’s (CRC) newest rolling-stock order as the world’s leading rail operators increasingly look to China to supply their expansion requirements.
The three-year contract will require Lloyd’s Register to manage the project’s systems engineering during the design, manufacture, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning phases for the order of 10 trains and associated equipment.
“This contract represents a significant milestone for us in the China rail market just as a growing number of the world’s leading operators are taking another look at the potential of mainland suppliers,” said Iain Carmichael, Managing Director, Lloyd’s Register Rail (Asia). “Demand in Asia for rolling stock is expected to be robust for the next few years. And with more established operators looking to new suppliers for railcars, maintenance and associated equipment, our role as an assurance provider with extensive knowledge of the technical and regulatory requirements coupled with our experience in emerging markets has grown in value.”
CRC, which supplies more than 80% of the metro cars in China, was contracted in October to supply 10 trains - or 80 rail cars - to Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation in a deal that marked the first time the operator had awarded a contract for passenger trains to a supplier on the mainland.
The contract contains several options for the CRC to supply additional rolling stock.
“Aside from their impressive technical credentials, we chose the Lloyd’s Register team because they shared our total commitment to the engineering, manufacture and assembly of quality products and systems,” said Liu Gang, CRC’s Sales Director, International Business Division. “We believe this order has firmly established us among an elite group of companies capable of building a first-class product line for the international rail market. It is really a great breakthrough for Chinese railcar builders and it strengthens our leading position on the mainland.”
The rail team at Lloyd’s Register will manage a comprehensive package of activities to support the CRC in meeting the quality and technical-performance targets of the contract according to its schedule.
“The quality of new rolling stock is the cornerstone in providing a good travelling environment to our passengers. With Lloyd's Register's extensive experience in project management and total commitment to safe and quality supply as well as CRC’s strong background in rolling stock manufacturing, we are looking forward to an excellent delivery of the new trains to meet our requirements for a safe and reliable rail service,” said Russell Black, Projects Director, MTR Corporation.
While the door to international markets is opening for leading Chinese companies such as the CRC, China’s huge domestic rail expansion is also expected to keep global suppliers busy and increase demand for third-party assurance providers such as Lloyd’s Register Rail (Asia).
According to a report released last month by international consultants McKinsey & Company, investment in China’s rail infrastructure was the No 1 priority in the country’s 11th Five Year Plan, with more than US$450 billion worth of projects proposed for the next five years, including a recent US$100-billion stimulus package to ward off the looming global recession.
All 10 trains from the CRC are scheduled to be delivered to Hong Kong between 2011 and 2012.
CRC has more than 50 years’ experience in the rolling stock industry and a workforce of more than 8,000 staff. It runs five production lines for stainless steel, carbon steel and aluminium railcar bodies, and was the first company to develop and manufacture high-speed trains in China.