GE Transportation to Supply 100 Locomotives to Transnet Limited in South Africa

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December 19th, 2009 Leave a comment Visited 302 times, 1 so far today

GE Introduces First AC Diesel Electric Locomotive to sub-Saharan Africa

GE South African Technologies (GESAT), GE Transportation’s entity in South Africa, announced today that it has signed a landmark contract with Transnet Limited to supply Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) with 100 locomotives. TFR is South Africa’s state-owned rail freight logistics utility; Transnet Limited is its parent company. Ten of the locomotives will be manufactured in Erie and Grove City, USA and 90 will be manufactured locally at Transnet Rail Engineering’s site in South Africa with kits provided by GE Transportation.

“We are pleased that GE is helping drive South Africa towards a lead manufacturing economy by localizing the production of locomotives in South Africa. We look forward to sharing some of our global success with Transnet and thus jointly expanding our regional footprint,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, President and CEO of GE Transportation. “GE’s extensive knowledge in localizing locomotive assembly can be witnessed in some of the world’s leading developing economies such as China, Brazil and Kazakhstan. Each of our global manufacturing sites has been specifically customized in line with customer and country requirements and capabilities. We worked closely with Transnet Rail Engineering to develop a comprehensive localization plan that complements local strengths and transfers world-class skills and technology where applicable.”

In December 2008, GE Transportation signed an agreement with one of South Africa’s foremost Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) companies, Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC), to establish the subsidiary GE South Africa Technologies (Pty) Limited (GESAT), allowing the company to more actively participate in South Africa’s social and economic transformation in the rail industry. Commenting on the announcement of this contract, Tshidi Madima, Executive Director of the MIC stated, “We are delighted that GESAT has been successful in winning this Transnet Freight Rail contract as this is an excellent example of the type of participation in the South African economy that was anticipated in the creation of GESAT 12 months ago.”

GE’s model C30ACi, the first AC diesel electric locomotive to be introduced to sub-Saharan Africa, will have an engine that delivers 3,300 Gross HorsePower (GHP) using an electronic fuel-injection system that automatically supplies the exact amount of fuel needed for optimal engine efficiency. The locomotives will also feature GE’s unique AC propulsion technology and dynamic braking. The addition of these new locomotives, which will be used to haul freight and coal, will decrease life-cycle costs, improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The first locomotives and kits are scheduled to be delivered in early 2011; locomotive assembly in country, with kits from Erie and engines from Grove City, should begin at the end of 2010.

GE Transportation in South Africa

A trusted partner and supplier to the rail and mining industries in South Africa, GE Transportation has an installed base of some 1,200 GE locomotives in Africa including approximately 900 in South Africa. In 2008, GE Transportation took South Africa’s Western Cape Orex line to the next level with the longest production train in the world, made possible through the LOCOTROL technology solution. This distributed power system - a first in South Africa - allows longer, safer trains on the critical Western Cape Saldanha Bay iron ore export line. Orex is the only heavy-haul iron-ore railway line in South Africa and the second-longest iron-ore railway line in the world at some 861 kilometers. It feeds the port of Saldanha Bay, for export to a global market hungry for South African iron ore. Until now, the carrying capacity of the line itself has been a major barrier to increasing economy-boosting iron ore exports.

GE Transportation has a long and successful history of operations and activities throughout Africa. As a global technology leader in transportation, GE Transportation is committed to help delivering world-class transportation, infrastructure development, and technology solutions – a key prerequisite for sustainable economic growth. GE Transportation has a presence on the African continent with recent locomotive sales in Nigeria and Egypt.

About GE Transportation

Established more than 100 years ago, GE Transportation, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a global technology leader and supplier to the railroad, marine, drilling, mining and wind industries. GE provides freight and passenger locomotives, railway signaling and communications systems, information technology solutions, marine engines, motorized drive systems for mining trucks and drills, high-quality replacement parts and value added services. GE Transportation is headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA, and employs approximately 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information visit


GE Transportation
Tom Scott, +33 6-35-24-92-33 (cell)
thomasxavier.scott {at} ge(.)com
Stephan Koller, +1 814-431-3150 (cell)
stephan.koller {at} ge(.)com

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