NEW DELHI: Ending months of speculation, the Ministry of Railways has finally given nod to the much-awaited foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals for setting up diesel and electric locomotive plants in Bihar aggregating to Rs 2,400 crore.
The move is in line with the government’s ‘Make in India,’ initiative and is expected to give a boost to the ailing infrastructure segment. This is also one of the first few proposals after the government allowed 100 per cent FDI in railways last year.
The two projects are among the top eight infrastructure projects being monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office.
As per the Ministry, the Request for Proposals (RFP) containing financial bidding documents for both the plants are ready and will be opened on August 31. There will be two pre-bid meetings held in between, according to official sources.
Four global firms - Alstom, Siemens, GE and Bombardier - have been shortlisted for the proposed electric locomotive factory at Madhepura and two multinationals - GE and EMD - are vying to bag the diesel locomotive plant at Marhora. The estimated cost of the factories is about Rs 1,200 crore each.
With the government allowing 100 per cent FDI in the railway sector, setting up of the two locomotive plants in joint venture model is crucial for Railways to give a boost to its infrastructure.
The Madhepura plant will manufacture 800 electric locomotives of 12,000 horse power (HP) over 11 years. While five electric locomotives will be imported, 795 will be manufactured at Madhepura, as per the bidding condition.
Marhora plant will produce 4500 HP and 6,000 HP diesel locomotives using state-of-the-art technology. In the course of about 10 years after commissioning, the proposed Marhora plant is expected to manufacture about 1,000 diesel-electric locomotives, that is 100 locomotives annually.
While 700 diesel locomotives will be equipped with 4,500 HP, 300 diesel locomotives will be manufactured with 6,000 HP, said the official.
Railways will have 26% equity while the global players will have 74% equity in each of the plants at Madhepura and Marhora.