Bürs-based firm to outfit Beijing–Shanghai rail link
Bürs/Kunshan. Getzner Werkstoffe is equipping the rail link between Beijing and Shanghai with elastic supports for rail fastening. For this major contract — the second awarded by the Chinese Ministry of Railways — Getzner will be operating on a four-shift basis as part of an Austrian-Chinese joint venture in Kunshan, China. The contract is valued at EUR 17.1 million, with a planned completion date of 2012.
The Chinese Ministry of Railways is expanding the network by a total of 10,000 kilometres over the next four years. A twin-track high-speed line will be built between Beijing and Shanghai. The elastic support for the railway is being produced by the Byrel Fastening Systems joint venture, of which Getzner is the majority shareholder. A total of eight companies, six of them Chinese, tendered for the supply of the rail fastenings. The new north-south section is scheduled for completion within three years. For this reason, the Kunshan plant currently has more than 40 staff working in four shifts — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This major contract is the second in a row for the Chinese Ministry of Railways, and one of the most prestigious and largest projects in Getzner's history. The new railway will provide an efficient connection between the Chinese capital Beijing and Shanghai, China's most important industrial centre. The 1,300 kilometre double track is roughly four times the distance of the rail link from Bregenz to Vienna. All in all, several million base plates will be manufactured and installed as elastic rail fastening elements. "The construction of the high-speed Beijing–Shanghai link means our order books will be pretty full over the next years. Our engineers at the Bürs facility will ensure that we also meet the highest quality standards in China. However, our research and development centre will remain in Bürs", explains Andreas Augustin, head of Getzner's Research & Development department. This latest contract means Byrel will be working at full capacity until the end of 2010.
Getzner Werkstoffe is a vibration expert in the areas of rail, construction and industry, and set up the Austrian-Chinese joint venture to take part in this major project. The company produces elastic rail fastener components for high-speed lines at the 1,500 m2 site. "Our focus is on quality in China, too. The four-shift work schedule was a new challenge in the beginning, but thanks to our local staff we were able to overcome those problems quite quickly. If we experience any unexpected bottlenecks, we could make use of capacity in Bürs if necessary. Byrel is already producing to very high quality standards, and with the help of our well-trained staff we have pushed rejection rates below 1 percent," says Byrel’s China-based Managing Director David Schulte of the demands facing his company.
Getzner Werkstoffe has been producing elastic components locally for the Chinese railway network since 2007. "The high-speed links between Wuhan and Guangzhou, and between Guangzhou and Shenzen, were a major success for us. The contract was one of the largest in our history. The prestigious high speed Beijing–Shanghai rail connection is a major milestone for Getzner, and we are excited at securing another order for the Chinese market," says Getzner Werkstoffe Managing Director Roland Pfefferkorn.