Thursday, March 18, 2010

EMD eyes joint venture in Saudi Arabia

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Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. announced Thursday that it has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the Mohawarean Group in Saudi Arabia to form a joint venture, under which EMD would “provide expert service training and technical support to the maintenance and operational personnel for the entire fleet of locomotives in the region.”

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“As an example of EMD’s leading role in the kingdom, the company is cementing its commitment to Saudi Arabia by producing 25 new high power SD70ACS diesel electric locomotives for the Saudi Railways Company (SAR),” said EMD. “These units are specifically designated for use on the North-South line. They will carry minerals on over 1,482 kilometers [920 miles] of newly constructed track, and are capable of dealing with some of the harshest desert environments including 300 kilometers [186 miles] across the Nofud desert. Delivery of the SD70ACS locomotives is scheduled to begin during the second quarter of 2010.”

EMD said the proposed joint venture will “consider further investment in the Saudi market based on future locomotive demand ... As the fleet of diesel electric locomotives in the region is expected to expand, EMD is developing a Service Center with Mohawarean Group to provide world-class aftermarket support for the existing fleet as well as future fleet expansion."

EMD President and CEO John Hamilton commented, “We are proud of our long history of providing high quality locomotive products and services to the Kingdom since 1957. We realize that the relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and EMD is a key factor to our overall success in the Middle East region, and we foresee an even stronger relationship as we move into the future.”

Mohawarean Group President & CEO Mohammed Al Othman said: “Through our subsidiary company, Mohawarean Railway Services, we are committed to supporting EMD in the transfer of knowledge for the long-term benefit of Saudi Arabia.”