Indian major Tata Steel has received a letter of intent (LoI) from Eiffage Rail for the supply of high-quality rail for a new 182-km high-speed line in France. The order value is likely to be Rs 315.15 crore.
Tata will supply 50,000 tonnes of rail for the new Brittany-Loire Valley line, which will connect the cities of Le Mans and Rennes. The steel will be manufactured in the UK before being rolled into rail at Tata Steel's mill in France for delivery from 2015.
Jean-Luc Trottin, Eiffage Rail’s managing director, said: "One of the key reasons for awarding this letter of intent to Tata Steel was its commitment to deliver the rail when we need it, directly to the job site of Sablé and Laval." Gérard Glas, head of Tata Steel’s rail sector, said: "This is our second high-speed rail project secured in the last year and is a recognition of our world-class product and service.”
"We will be supplying rails, 108-metre long each, for this new high-speed line, giving passengers a smoother ride and reducing maintenance costs. We've been investing a lot in state-of-the-art technology at our French rail mill — ^50 million in three years — to enable us to make the highest quality rail and create a sustainable future for our 400 employees there," he added.
The new line will be an extension of an existing high- speed link and will reduce travel time between Paris and Rennes by 37 minutes.
The project is expected to create 10,000 jobs during the construction phase and will be completed in 2016. In July, Tata Steel announced an investment in new technology at its Hayange rail mill to produce longer wear- resistant rails. And last year the company completed an upgrade of the facility, enabling it to produce 108-metre long rails. In 2011, Tata Steel secured a major order to supply rail for a new 302 km (188 mile) long high-speed line between the French cities of Tours and Bordeaux. And in 2009 French railway operator SNCF signed a 350 million euro contract with Tata Steel to buy rail for up to six years. Tata Steel supplied the rail from its Hayange plant for the track on which a TGV broke the world train speed record in 2007. The French train reached a speed of 574.8 kph (357mph) between Paris and Strasbourg.