Alstom Transport General Manager Arda Inanc: “We should turn to the most economical solution instead of the cheapest in tenders”
As Alstom, you are one of the world's leading companies in the railway sector providing services such as railway vehicles, transportation infrastructure and signaling. Could you first introduce us to the Alstom Global Transport division?
Alstom Transport operates in 60 countries with 26 thousand employees. We serve in the entire product range related to railway. Alstom is branding itself in versatile expertise. We operate in all areas from rail laying, none of our competitors, to electrification, signaling and vehicle supply. One of the first vehicle suppliers of Alstom TCDD. TCDD bought electric locomotive from Alstom for the first time. Some of the railway vehicles we provided in the 1950s are still operational.
Alstom Transport Turkey you are talking about the new project?
Until the middle of the railroad in the 1990s was to invest more in Turkey and about the city rail system. In the following years, investments started to focus on rail systems. In this context, Alstom also has expanded its operations in Turkey. As of today the 4. Levent-Taksim subway station, construction of Turkey's first modern subway we do with our partners. In addition, we provided 4 train sets of 20 vehicles each for the Bus Station-İkitelli line. Commissioning processes still continue. Kabataş - 37 tram sets operate on Bağcılar line. Commissioning processes have been completed and are currently under warranty.
On the railway side, we have a signaling project on the Eskişehir-Balıkesir line. We signed this 89 million Euro project in November 2011. On this line, we will implement the ERTMS-1 and ERTMS-2, which we call the European common signaling system. On-vehicle signal equipment to be used in some locomotives of railways will also be installed.
As of December 1, 2012, we started the maintenance work of 12 high-speed trains. A 2-year contract. After two years, it will most likely be tendered again. Apart from that, our control center project in Kayseri continues. He also entered the 2nd stage.
Can you give us information about the projects you will be doing in the upcoming period?
There are various tenders for both railways and municipalities. Doğuş Construction won the tender for the Üsküdar-Ümraniye subway line, the infrastructure of which was previously awarded. We are waiting for the vehicle tender in the next few weeks. It will be a project of 6 wagons, each consisting of 21 sets of 126 vehicles. Kabataş- We are waiting for the tender for 145 cars after the infrastructure and electromechanical (electrification, signalization, etc.) tender of the Mahmutbey line.
Do you have a lot of firms applying for these tenders?
Yes; because the railway market is very free market in Turkey. It is not a closed market like the Chinese market; an open market. The companies of each country can come and participate in the tender easily. If you take into account the economic slowdown in Europe, many companies are showing interest in tenders in Turkey. Apart from known companies, Spanish, Chinese and Czech companies are actively participating in these tenders. There is also a very different evaluation process than in Europe. While trying to add some criteria recently, low price is the only determining criterion.
Alstom Transport division to establish a joint venture in the production of bogie chassis Durmazlar Signed a preliminary agreement with Duray Transportation Systems affiliated to the Holding. Can you give us information about this project? What will this partnership decision bring to Alstom?
Determining the investments made on the railways as a strategic sector and explaining some government incentives related to this encourages the investors. On the other hand, there is a cost pressure on firms arising from the free structure of the market. Auctions are completed at a low price. In the West, an assessment is made on the score of the technology you offer. The legal conditions of the country are suitable for this. Because the cheapest doesn't always mean the most economical. If you offer a lower technology for maintenance costs, you may have offered a more economical solution even if your vehicle price remains a bit high on paper. Turkey, unfortunately, the system usually does not work that way. The law does not give much initiative to the tender evaluation board regarding technology or product preference. In general, competition and localization only come up in price. However, the product purchased is a sophisticated product. Although the railway vehicle sector is generally compared to automotive, we liken it to tailoring rather. The firms participating in the tender provide customer-specific solutions by providing some general standards. This situation does not always allow to compare only at low price. Therefore, we should turn to the most economical solution throughout the product life, rather than the cheapest on the tender day.
We signed a supply agreement with Duray AŞ and a preliminary agreement for partnership. We see this agreement as the first step of the partnership that will develop further in the future. Duray is currently manufacturing bogie chassis for our 2 high speed train projects in Europe. Bogies are walking gear. It is a much more complex structure than those in the car. In some systems, the engine is also located inside the bogie. Bogies have an extremely important position in terms of safety. Both subway and high-speed train bogies, high-tech and expert work. Durmazlar We have seen that they have a highly developed structure both in terms of quality and process management. We have determined that it will be a great advantage for us. Durmazlar also had been attempting to enter the rail systems industry for a while. Turkey's silk-producing insect called the first rail tram Durmazlar'Dr. It will be a very favorable partnership for both sides.
You have just mentioned that you have received the 12 high-speed train maintenance tender for the railways. Can you share your work on this?
Although not yet mature care market began to sprout in Turkey. The first reason for this situation is the rising labor costs and the appreciation of the Turkish Lira. In general, there is a tendency to transfer some of the highly complex maintenance to the manufacturer companies by tender. Therefore, one of the markets we focus on is maintenance. It is possible to maintain all kinds of vehicles such as subway and tram with local experts and engineers. We may have partnerships with local companies in this regard; we evaluate it. In the later stages, we think that in Turkey for signaling equipment consists of a maintenance market. There is a pending law proposal in the parliament in the coming period. This law proposal, if accepted, will be revolutionary for rail transport. State railways will now only be responsible for infrastructure. If necessary, the lines will be rented to private companies. Private companies will also have the right to purchase and operate their own locomotive and even their train. This is a brand new market. State monopoly is broken. Some North African countries have completed their regulations on this issue before us. In Turkey, the market will expand in this way. Within the framework of this law, a new structure will be created called Türk Tren AŞ. Türk Tren AŞ will also be responsible for the vehicle operation. This is a 0 compatible model with the liberalization model in western countries. Although railways do maintenance within the framework of TÜVASAŞ and TÜLOMSAŞ, a new market will be created that will be composed of their needs, as companies in the port operators, logistics and mining sectors do not have a warehouse or maintenance facility. They will prefer to work with companies like us for maintenance and supply of locomotives. The global trend is in this direction.
How do you evaluate the 2 annual maintenance service contract for a period of time?
We think it would be very beneficial to Turkey of some regulations as private sector representatives in our Public Procurement Law. The 2-year maintenance contract is actually very little; railway vehicles maintenance contracts should be longer. There are 30-year vehicle maintenance contracts that we have made abroad. Because there are certain milestones in maintenance. To complete the entire maintenance cycle, the process needs to be settled over a wider time frame. In addition, when longer maintenance tenders are held, the cost per year will be less. The tender law unfortunately does not allow long-term agreements to be concluded, especially in the service sector. We think that both railways and municipalities can make more informed choices if the law allows in the future.
Can you tell us about your new locomotive factory you opened in Kazakhstan?
Alstom makes some investments in vehicle manufacturing both in Kazakhstan and Algeria. We have joint venture agreement with Russian TMH company before. The issue here is both reducing costs, increasing price competitiveness and know-how transfer in terms of market conditions. There are extremely successful Japanese and Chinese models in the middle. Technology transfers made by Japan in the 70s and China in the 90s have inspired other countries. No longer is in production in other countries such as Turkey or supply at least a portion of the requirement to be done in that country is koşuluy. This is a motivation for local production as well as cost reduction for Alstom.
Istanbul that you signed in Casablanca in December and so on Kabataş-Can you give information about the Citadis tram project, which also serves among Bağcılar?
With its modern design and energy saving, Citadis has become a sought-after solution in various countries of the world. Istanbul Citadis application is one of the early applications. We have a highly specialized designer in this field; Xavier Allard. He says that the most beautiful tram he has designed so far is Citadis in Istanbul. The biggest advantage of this was working with municipal officials. Their preference was to reflect the tulip, which is the symbol of Istanbul and the municipality, to the tram somehow.
Obviously, Istanbul Transportation Inc. and the municipality preferred us were also an important reference for Casablanca. We installed the Citadis tram system in line with their preferences. There are tram projects in other countries; We hope that their preferences will be Citadis. That tram line takes the biggest load of Istanbul transportation. Until recently, the tram line carried more passengers than the subway. Although the metro is a more comprehensive project, the tram line is used more due to its popularity. This is a pleasing development for us because it gives the opportunity to serve a wide audience. This was a project in Istanbul proving the Citadis product. Besides, we also supplied some of the metro vehicles and they are already serving.
Your railway car supply project was made with an Italian company. Can you share the details with us?
Since Italy has already completed the legal arrangements I just mentioned, it is possible for private companies to rent lines and operate from Italian railways. There is a partnership established within this framework. The company's name is NTV. They wanted to run a high-speed train operation between Rome and Naples. We signed an agreement within that framework and provided 25 high speed train sets. Obviously, as Alstom, we were a bit worried. It was the first private train operation application in Italy. On the one hand, there are Italian railways that you have been working with for years; now you start working with his opponent. These concerns have been wasted. We have seen once again how beneficial the competition is. Subsequently, the Italian railways began to buy new trains. They have gone towards renewing the trains and improving their service quality. The train we have given is the new generation of TGV trains we call AGV; It has a speed of 320 km per hour. One of our products that we are most proud of.
Alstom Transport 2011-2012 recorded how much sales in fiscal year? What is your 2013 year?
Alstom Transport's global turnover is around 5.3 billion euros. The year we were in started very quickly. We are almost at full capacity, both in terms of engineering services and especially in terms of production. The reason for this is that some of the tenders postponed due to the economic recession have been held consecutively in Europe. In terms of private firms, there are purchases postponed with economic uneasiness. They will also take place in quick succession. We think that this should not overshadow our efforts to improve our competitiveness. We made it the center of the Middle East, so engineering and design are also indigenous. We will continue our work on this issue.
Source : www.otomasyondergisi.com.t is