Varanasi-based diesel locomotive unit of the Indian railways is planning to hike its capacity in order to meet the growing demand from the railways and other parties domestically and tap potential in other developing countries. The factory will spend Rs 150 crore to increase the number of units manufactured per annum to 200 from the present 150.
“We are planning to increase the number of locomotives manufactured using the General Motors (GM) technology. The expansion process for meeting the new output has begun. Additional machineries and other infrastructure will be acquired in the next two to three years,” said diesel locomotive works (DLW) chief mechanical engineer Niraj Kumar.
DLW produced 59 locomotives in 2007-08 using the GM technology, which it got in 1996. It plans to almost double it to 100 this year. The factory logged a record output of 222 locomotives in 2007-08. Speaking on the record output, Kumar said, “We managed to surpass the production capacity in 2007-08, as DLW is an integrated unit and we make considerable amount of ancillaries in the factory itself. Even though we are planning to take up the annual capacity to 200 units, we are likely to see around 300 units coming out of the unit annually.”
During the current year, 2008-09, DLW has targeted to produce 250 locomotives. During the first four months of the year, the unit has produced 87 locomotives against a target of 83 units. Since its inception in 1961, the unit has manufactured around 5,000 units. “We will see a demand of more than 400 locomotives a year in the next three to four years. While we will provide locomotives of up to 4,500 HP, the upcoming facility at Maraura near Chhapra will produce locomotives with 6,000 HP capacity,” Kumar pointed out.
Buoyed by the record output, the unit plans to boost presence in the international market. The unit is eyeing African markets like Mozambique and Tanzania. “3000 Hp capacity locomotives are being developed for the African countries. African countries are a captive market for these locomotives as they have meter gauge and cape gauge lines, which are best suited for these locomotives. The unit has got orders for three locomotives from Sri Lanka and one from Mozambique,” said Arun Kumar Sharma, chief marketing manager, DLW.