Gibela offers SA suppliers lucrative ride in R51bn tender
If you want to hit a jackpot in the local railway transportation industry, it might be worth your while to place Pascal Roze at the top of your contacts book.
Roze’s name may not ring a loud bell to many South Africans, but he is an extremely important man if you want to clinch a slice of the R51 billion tender for the manufacturing of 600 new-generation passenger trains made up of 3,600 coaches.
The trains will replace the old, unreliable, and unsafe commuter trains operated by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) that have been in use since the 1950s as part of the parastatal’s fleet renewal programme for its metro rail network across the country.
Roze is the sourcing mastermind for Gibela, the consortium that is 61% owned by French engineering firm Alstom, which saw off four other bidders to win the Prasa fleet renewal tender, one of the largest train manufacturing tenders in the world.
Other shareholders of Gibela are local partners, railway suppliers and workers, who own the remaining 39% of the company.
The contract awarded to Gibela will cover the first 10 years of the fleet renewal programme.
In total, Prasa will acquire 7 224 coaches at a cost of R123 billion over 20 years, half of which will be built by Gibela. Alongside this 10-year contract, Gibela will also supply spare parts and provide maintenance as well as technical support on the trains over a 19-year period.
Indeed it will not be easy and only those companies that demonstrate a willingness and capability to comply with the standards we have set in the interest of a quality product will have an opportunity to be part of the journey.”
As a sourcing director for Gibela, Roze is in-charge of all procurement activities which encompass sourcing components and materials needed to build the trains and coaches such as metalwork, seats, glazing, carpets, steel, ceilings, batteries and lighting fixtures.
A key part of his brief is to source 65% of the materials and components from South African suppliers as stipulated by the contract. Roze is confident that Gibela will exceed this target, but he won’t compromise on the quality of the supplies.
“We are no longer in the “confident or not” stage, as we have demonstrated that we will be able to deliver on our local content commitments reaching 70% when we reach a stabilised manufacturing pace,” Roze points out.
“Gibela is and will remain unyielding in its requirements for above-average performance, quality and competitiveness. Indeed it will not be easy and only those companies that demonstrate a willingness and capability to comply with the standards we have set in the interest of a quality product will have an opportunity to be part of the journey.”
At the moment, Prasa is a happy customer, but if Gibela were to breach its localisation commitments, the passenger rail parastatal will punish the train manufacturer.
“Indeed there are penalties in the contract which can be exercised by Prasa should Gibela fail to meet the 65% local content target. In addition, there are termination points which can be accumulated by Gibela,” explains Moffet Mofekeng, spokesperson for Prasa.
SUPPLIERS WANTED BEYOND RAILWAY INDUSTRY
Gibela says it is working to develop a robust and sustainable supplier base and is looking for suppliers beyond the railway industry and is identifying partners from:
- Existing local rail suppliers with the required technological competencies;
- Suppliers who have the capability to transform their current offerings into those required by Gibela;
- Suppliers that are willing to diversify into railway manufacturing;
- Emerging suppliers and new local entrepreneurs; and
- Large international railway suppliers who will localise component manufacturing in partnership with local shareholders and investors
Since the railway industry has not modernised for over 50 years, local skills were not kept up with times, so Gibela will train and upskill 19 000 people.
“In the execution of the rolling stock project, Gibela will require a cross-section of technical skills made up of design, mechanical, industrial, electrical, electronic and quality engineering fields; engineering technicians; technologists; artisans and various trade occupations will be required and are deemed critical,” says Roze.
At the artisan level, Gibela will recruit trades such as welders, sheet metal workers, boilermakers, electricians, painters, fitters (electrical), millwrights, platters, turner machinists and torques.
At corporate level, the company will need procurement (sourcing) and HR specialists; supply chain personnel; accountants; cost controllers, and various other support functions.
*Article first published by www.getbiz.co.za