The global tender will end the monopoly of SAIL in supplying rails to Indian Railways, the loss-making state enterprise has struggled to meet railways’ rising demand
The other bidders are East Metals AG, a unit of Russian steel and coal producer Evraz, Austrian company Voestalpine Schienen, CRM Hong Kong Trading Ltd, New Delhi-based Atlantic Steels, French company British Steel France Rail and China-based Angang Group International, according to the official with direct knowledge of the matter.
The official declined to be named because the information is not public. The tender was opened earlier on Friday.
Railways chairman Ashwani Lohani, spokespeople at East Metals AG, and Austrian company Voestalpine did not immediately respond to emails while spokespeople at the other companies could not be contacted.
The tender will end the monopoly of state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) in supplying rails to the world’s fourth largest rail network. Loss-making SAIL has struggled to meet railways’ rising demand.
The steel and rail ministries, however, have been at loggerheads over the state-run network’s decision to buy rails from overseas, despite assurances of supply from SAIL and New Delhi-based Jindal Steel and Power.
Following several meetings, the railways slashed its tender size by more than 30% to 487,000 tonnes of rails after SAIL said it would scale up supply to 950,000 tonnes in 2017/18 and 1.5 million tonnes in 2018/19, according to the minutes of a committee meeting held on 21 December.
Modi’s office recently asked all government departments to prioritise the use of local products in state projects, after domestic companies objected to the tender by the railways.
News Source: LiveMint