To set up manufacturing unit in the country
US-based Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) Inc will invest $100 million in India over the next three years.
The investment will be used in setting up a diesel locomotive unit, upgrading its technology centres in the country and in joint development projects.
Headquartered in LaGrange, Illinois, with facilities in London, Ontario, Canada, EMD designs, manufactures and sells diesel-electric locomotives for commercial railroad applications and sells its products in more than 73 countries.
“Although, the exact location of the plant has yet not been finalized, the company has prospective sites in consideration, including Uttar Pradesh,” EMD COO Ossama Hassan said on a conference call.
He said the factory could either become a Greenfield or Brownfield project through takeover and acquisition. “After North America, India is our most important market.”
The company is also planning to hire about 120 engineers to add to the current tally of 30 and bring more technology to India.
“While still in the initial stages, the production unit would cater to the domestic demand in India. We will later try to tap the export market too,” he said.
EMD Locomotive Technologies is the subsidiary of EMD, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Progress Rail Services, USA.
The company today launched the EMD Centre of Excellence at Lucknow.
EMD has been working with the Indian Railways for the last 50 years to build diesel locomotives at Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), Varanasi.
Meanwhile, Research, Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Lucknow and DLW have finalized the design of the new 5,500 horsepower WDG5 diesel locomotive, which has been developed in support of EMD.
The new locomotive has various safety features such as crash protection and defogger.
“The new locomotive is likely to run on the Indian Railways track by the end of December 2011,” EMD Locomotive Technologies Managing Director Vishwas Moktali said.
Hassan said the upcoming freight corridors in the country would give further impetus to the demand of diesel locomotives in India.