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Japan's Sumitomo, Jindal Steel among 8 bidders for Railways' global tender

The tender will end the monopoly of state-owned Steel Authority of India in supplying rails

Reuters  |  New Delhi 

Railway, Train, Track,
Indian Railways | Representative Image

Japanese trader and India's and Power Ltd are among eight bidders competing for Indian Railways' first global tender to supply 487,000 tonnes of rails, a government official told Reuters.

The other bidders are East Metals AG, a unit of Russian steel and coal producer Evraz, Austrian company voestalpine Schienen, CRM Hong Kong Trading Ltd, New Delhi-based Atlantic Steels, French company British Steel France Rail and China-based Angang Group International, according to the official with direct knowledge of the matter.

The official declined to be named because the information is not public.

The tender was opened earlier on Friday.

chairman Ashwani Lohani, spokespeople at East Metals AG, an Austrian company voestalpine did not immediately respond to Reuters' emails while spokespeople at the other companies could not be contacted.

The tender will end the monopoly of state-owned Ltd (SAIL) in supplying rails to the world's fourth largest rail network. Loss-making has struggled to meet railways' rising demand.

The steel and rail ministries, however, have been at loggerheads over the state-run network's decision to buy rails from overseas, despite assurances of supply from and New Delhi-based and Power.

Following several meetings, the slashed its tender size by more than 30 percent to 487,000 tonnes of rails after said it would scale up supply to 950,000 tonnes in 2017/18 and 1.5 million tonnes in 2018/19, according to the minutes of a committee meeting held on Dec. 21. (

The committee on domestically manufactured iron and steel products for government projects is headed by the top civil servant in the steel ministry.

The panel also gave a one-time waiver to the to source rails from overseas on the condition that it would give 20 percent of the contract to a domestic steelmaker.

The clause could help win its first contract with the

The waiver came through following a meeting held at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office on Dec. 19 between steel ministry officials and Minister Piyush Goyal, according to a document seen by Reuters.

Spokespeople for Modi's and Goyal's offices did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Modi's office recently asked all government departments to prioritise the use of local products in state projects, after domestic companies objected to the tender by the

First Published: Fri, December 22 2017. 21:53 IST