AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Boosting SA’s rail supply industry

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> The manufacture of 66 new carriages for Adelaide’s metropolitan rail network has the potential to net rail suppliers local contracts worth millions of dollars. </span> <p>These same suppliers will also have the opportunity to export to international markets.</p><p>That was the message from Alstom Transport’s tender director for Asia Australia Kas Mnif at an invitation-only InterConnect forum for South Australian suppliers put on by Alstom Transport and UGL on October 26. The event was also supported by South Australia’s ICN and Enterprise Connect.</p><p>The forum – which was the third to be held in Australia – was designed to highlight the opportunities for suppliers to provide train parts both locally and overseas and for Alstom to meet the suppliers and explore how their capabilities fitted with the company’s manufacturing model.</p><p>According to Alstom head of transport for Australian and New Zealand Jean de La Chapelle, getting local suppliers involved in the manufacture of trains in South Australia has long been a key part of Alstom’s strategy.</p><p>“Alstom believes very strongly in developing local manufactures to a world class standard,” de La Chapelle said.</p><p>“It’s a win-win situation for us when we work with local suppliers. Alstom wins through a more efficient supply chain which eases our lead times. At the same time local suppliers are able to take advantage of our international footprint which opens markets to them right around the world.”</p><p>This approach has already worked very successfully in Victoria, where Alstom has been manufacturing X’Trapolis trains at Ballarat for close to a decade.</p><p>Up to 135 direct jobs have been directly created at the Ballarat plant and at the same time around $75m in orders have been placed with Victorian businesses. Some suppliers have also been selected for international projects.</p><p>“Victoria has a set a minimum contractual requirement that ensures local content in the manufacture of trains. Alstom has consistently exceeded that requirement,” de La Chapelle said.</p><p>“In South Australia, where there is a long history of companies supplying the automotive and defence industries, we expect the percentage to be substantial.”</p><p>As part of the Interconnect forum, Alstom brought out its platform director, Lorenzo Novelli, who sources suppliers and develops supply chains for Alstom around the world.</p><p>While in Australia he will be placing millions of dollars worth of orders with Victorian companies that are already working with Alstom. It is a precursor of what could happen in South Australia.</p><p>“We have analysed South Australian suppliers and believe – if performance quality and competitiveness requirements are met – many local businesses can play a role in the manufacture of our trains,” de La Chapelle said.</p><p>“The Interconnect forum gives us enormous confidence that South Australia’s history of manufacturing to a world class level means we will find significant opportunities to work with business in this state.”</p>