Asia and Africa Become a Lifeline for German Industry

The German industrial giant Siemens has just signed a €3 billion contract to build no less than 1,200 electric locomotives for Indian Railways. This is the company’s largest locomotive contract ever. At the same time, it was announced that DMG Mori, a German machine tool company, is about to finish a €400 million state of the art plant for the manufacture of CNC machine tools in Egypt, which will be the first machine tool factory to operate in Africa.

The modern locomotives (9,000-horsepower) will service the nearly fully electrified railway network in India, which is expected to almost double freight capacity by rail. They will be one of the most powerful freight locomotives in the world, specified to haul loads of 4,500 tons at a maximum speed of 120 km per hour. It will take Siemens 11 years to deliver all the locomotives, which will be produced locally by Indian Railways personnel. Included in the contract is a cluster for 35 years of full-service maintenance by Siemens.

Turning to Egypt, under the slogan, “Made in Africa, for Africa, by Egypt”, the DMG Mori machine tool company announced that it will complete its factory by the end of this year. Built in cooperation with the Egyptian Arab Organization for Industrialization, the factory will produce 1,000 CNC machines annually. The state of the art, fully automated and digitized factory will be housed in a 60,000 square meter plant near Cairo Airport. The contract includes CNC training together with DMG Mori Academy GmbH schools and universities in Egypt, which will provide training and jobs for thousands of young people. The machines will be marketed in Egypt and throughout Africa.

Siemens is also active in Egypt. Just last May, the German giant inked an 8 bn euro deal to participate in the construction of a 2,000 kilometer high speed railway there, which will be the world’s third largest high speed railway. In terms of energy, the company had completed in 2018 a 14 GW gas-fired combined cycle power station in only 27.5 months. The typical construction time for a single combined cycle power plant block with a capacity of 1,200 MW is approximately 30 months. But for the Egypt megaproject, Siemens built twelve such blocks in parallel in record time, and connected them to the grid.

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