In a further effort to normalise freight operations in South Africa, Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has issued an open competitive tender inviting eligible original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to step in to rehabilitate the non-operational Chinese-manufactured locomotives awaiting critical spare parts. This follows on the impasse with the CRRC E-Loco Supply, the Chinese stateowned supplier of locomotives. CRRC is unwilling to engage with the relevant authorities in South Africa to normalise its operations in the country. Details on the matter of the CRRC has been widely published.
TFR has published the request for procurement (RFP) to find alternative original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to support the return to service of an estimated 161 long-standing locomotives (locomotives that have been out of service for a period exceeding 90 days) owing to a lack of components for the 20E, 21E and 22E fleets. These electric locomotives support four primary mining sector segments, namely, export coal, magnetite, chrome and manganese, on the Transnet rail network.
TFR has been severely constrained by the severe shortage of operational locomotives as a result of unfortunate protracted negotiations to reach lawful settlement with OEMs in relation to the 1,064-locomotive contract. The availability of locomotives on the export coal lines dropped by a staggering 33%, between the 2017/18 and 2020/21 financial years. Returning these long-standing locomotives to service will enable the company to meet customer demands, enhance competitiveness and deliver on its mandate from the shareholder and the country.
The proposed duration of the contract is a maximum period of 10 years on account of all the activities required, some of which may take up to 2 years to redesign and conclude. This contract will not only provide the required support that will ultimately see the return to service of the 160 long-standing locomotives but will also provide ongoing support for the entire 20E, 21E and 22E fleets.
The RFP will close on 20 March 2023.
Source & photo : Transnet Freight Rail