Japanese high-speed railway equipment and system suppliers are looking to tap business opportunities as India builds its first bullet train line, mainly financed by Tokyo, with some considering expanding local production to cater to the needs of the $16.5 billion project.
Toshiba Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and other Japanese companies, which participated in a recent international railway equipment exhibition in the Indian capital, are "actively" exploring opportunities to engage in the high-speed train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
The two countries last month announced the start of work on India's first high-speed project.
The tender and procurement processes for the high-speed train equipment should start now, said Teppei Hagiwara, manager of the electric wire and cable business unit at Hitachi Metals Ltd., which manufactures track-side wires and cables used for Japan's shinkansen bullet train lines.
Hitachi Ltd., the Hitachi group leader which offers a wide range of solutions for high-speed railway networks, is looking to offer its "total solutions" to India's bullet train project, a Hitachi official told NNA, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corp. says it can provide bullet train power supply solutions among other things. "Depending on the order size and requirements, we may leverage our local production facility in Hyderabad to produce some of the equipment," said Tomohiko Uchida, senior manager of the firm's international sales and contract administration department.
Other Japanese companies are keen to supply products such as rail crossings and track fastening systems.
"Track controlling systems for high-speed railway are one of the critical components of bullet train network systems," noted Shinichiro Makino, manager for sales and design at the Toyama plant of Tetsudo Kiki Co., a longtime supplier of switch and crossing gear for Japan's shinkansen trains.
According to the Japan Overseas Railway System Association of major Japanese rolling stock, component manufacturers and trading houses, Japanese firms are also exploring opportunities in India's conventional railway system and metro train projects.
Shinji Sayama, director of the association's international coordination department, said, "India is emerging as a potential market for many Japanese companies involved in the railway business not only for the high-speed train project but also in other rail infrastructure projects now underway." (NNA/Kyodo)
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