CSR aims for No 1 in high-speed railroads

08:27, January 04, 2011      

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China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Limited (CSR) is aiming to become the world's top high-speed train manufacturer in the next five years, a top executive said on Monday.

CSR, the word's third-largest high-speed train producer, behind Bombardier and Alstom, will focus on the domestic market and tap more overseas opportunities, including those in the United States and Europe, to become No 1 in the high-speed railway manufacturing sector, Zheng Changhong, president of CSR, was quoted by 21 Century Business Herald as saying.

Since China rolled out its first high-speed railway between Beijing and Tianjin in 2008, the country has ranked top in high-speed rail for speed and distance.

China's latest fast train, the CRH380A, built by CSR, set a world record on Dec 3 by traveling at a maximum speed of 486.1 km an hour during a trial run on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway; as fast as a jet cruising at slow speed.

The country is operating a high-speed rail network with a combined length of 7,531 kilometers, the world's longest. By 2012, this figure will almost double to 13,000 km.

"CSR has set a target to achieve 150 billion yuan ($22.7 billion) of revenue in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), more than double of that in 2010, propelled by the country's massive investment in the high-speed railway sector," Zheng said.

"The next five years will also be a peak period in terms of railway construction, with annual investment touching 700 billion yuan," he said.

CSR's overseas deals hit $1.24 billion in 2009 and it plans to further explore the overseas market.

"CSR's overseas business only accounted for 10 percent of the company's total revenue, and we will raise the proportion to 20 percent," Zheng said. "We will especially target the Middle East, South America and Africa as new markets."

China has also stepped up efforts to take a bigger slice of the global market, he said. High-speed rail projects in Thailand and Laos, which China will help to build, are likely to start in 2011.

CSR also signed an agreement with General Electric to establish a 50-50 joint venture to manufacture high-speed trains in the US using China's technology.

"CSR has successfully absorbed overseas' technology and innovated its own, which will help the company tap the international market at a competitive price," said Yang Hao, a railway transport professor at Beijing Jiaotong University. "The Chinese government also encourages Chinese companies to go overseas and transfer technology and products."

Since 2003, China has signed agreements or Memoranda of Understanding for bilateral cooperation on railways with more than 30 countries, including the US, Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Poland and India.

According to the government's blueprint, China's railway network will serve more than 90 percent of the population by 2020, with a budgeted cost of 2 trillion yuan.

China Daily

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