Myanmar, China sign train engine deal

New locomotives from China will help improve rail transport in mountainous areas of Myanmar, a government official said on April 30. Myanma Railways signed an agreement to buy 11 2000-horsepower locomotives from the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) at the Ministry of Railways and Transportation in Nay Pyi Taw on April 30.

Managing director U Thurain Win of Myanma Railways and deputy chair of CMC Zhao Jun signed the agreement, under which the first three engines will arrive at the end of November.

“We decided to buy the new engines so that our trains will run safely and punctually. We will use them in mountainous areas,” said U Myint Soe, deputy general manager in the ministry.

He said the remaining eight engines, due to arrive in 2016, would run for 30 years and would be the most powerful locomotives in the country. Each costs 198,000 euros (US$221,770), valuing the contract at 2.178 million euros.

“We have engines ranging in power from 500, 900, 1200, 1500 and 1600HP. These will have 2000HP,” said U Myint Soe, adding that the nation’s railway stock was ageing.

Only five companies out of 38 that initially expressed interest in responding to the tender opened last year actually submitted bids. The ministry decided on January 20 to select CMC, which quoted the lowest price, because they said its standards were in line with the ministry’s needs.

Half the engines currently running in Myanmar are outdated diesel electrics. The president has instructed the ministry to buy new diesel electric engines with foreign currency to improve rail services for passengers and goods.

Source: Myanmar Times

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