Chinese to Address Locomotive Problems

THE Chinese company CSR Corporation that supplied TransNamib with faulty locomotives, on Monday met the Minister of Works and Transport, Erkki Nghimitina, to discuss the way forward.

A report carried by The Namibian last month revealed that TransNamib was auctioning four locomotives bought from the Chinese company for N$42 million in 2004 because of safety concerns.

Senior engineer at TransNamib, Joe van Zyl, told The Namibian then that they were selling four CKD diesel electric locomotives and 10 mainline railway passenger coaches because of various faults.

CSR Corporation vice president Wang Jun said they valued their relationship with TransNamib and felt the need to come and discuss the issue of the condemned locomotives and the coaches.

Wang also pointed out that their company was in the top three of companies that provide railway locomotives.

TransNamib chief executive officer Sara Naanda, who also attended the meeting, said they will meet the Chinese company to point out the problematic locomotives, and decide on the way forward. She added that the suppliers have taken it upon themselves to deal with the problems.

“The goodwill is to find a solution for the fleet they provided. This may include spare parts or technical support from their side,” Naanda said, adding that they are also looking at sending Namibian technicians to China to be trained how to operate the locomotives.

TransNamib had previously complained that the sellers never bothered to help with training or servicing of the machines. Earlier this year China South Rail took the biggest share of the N$50.4 billion contract to produce new-generation locomotives for South Africa’s Transnet. This was South Africa’s largest locomotive supply contract through which the logistics parastatal was expected to procure 1 064 locomotives – 599 electric and 465 diesel.

Source : The Namibian