New Ad­min­is­tra­tive Cap­i­tal will be­come unique sym­bol among African smart cities: Al­stom

The French com­pany Al­stom, one of the big­gest rail­way, tram, and metro man­u­fac­tur­ers in the world, said that the New Ad­min­is­tra­tive Cap­i­tal that is be­ing im­ple­mented by the Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment will be­come a unique cre­ation among smart cities in Africa.

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“We are in­ter­ested in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of metro and tram lines in the New Ad­min­is­tra­tive Cap­i­tal, as well as the restora­tion and renovation of the tram line in Alexandria,” said Di­dier Pfleger, se­nior vice pres­i­dent for the Mid­dle East and Africa, dur­ing a tour or­gan­ised by the com­pany.

He added that Al­stom has global ex­pe­ri­ence in pro­vid­ing trans­porta­tion so­lu­tions and has a prom­i­nent po­si­tion in the Egyp­tian mar­ket, as it has al­ready im­ple­mented the first and sec­ond lines of the metro in the cap­i­tal Cairo and is cur­rently car­ry­ing out the main­te­nance of in­fra­struc­ture and sig­nals for the first and sec­ond phases of the third metro line in Cairo. It is also par­tic­i­pat­ing in the third and fourth stages of the third line and re­new­ing the main rail­way in co­or­di­na­tion with the Egyp­tian Na­tional Rail­ways.

He ex­plained that Al­stom’s in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence and its no­table ex­pe­ri­ence in the Egyp­tian mar­ket makes it an ideal part­ner for the Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment to par­tic­i­pate in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the de­vel­op­ment projects to be com­pleted in the new cap­i­tal and other new projects an­nounced by the Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment, such as high-speed trains, elec­tric trains, and new metro lines.

Daily News Egypt sat down for an in­ter­view with Pfleger to dis­cuss Egypt’s in­fra­struc­ture boom and how Al­stom can play a role in it.

What is your opin­ion about the ac­tions taken by the Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment on in­fra­struc­ture?

Al­stom has been present in the coun­try for over 35 years and is very proud to sup­port the im­por­tant trend of in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try. In­deed, our vi­sion is to be com­mit­ted and en­gaged to be­come among the first to con­trib­ute to this pos­i­tive change in Egypt, in re­la­tion to plans an­nounced by Min­is­ter of Trans­port He­sham Arafat.

Is Al­stom in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment about mo­bil­ity and rail­way projects now? Es­pe­cially since Egypt de­clared that it will launch seven metro lines in­stead of three, high speed trains, and metro projects in the new cap­i­tal. Also, line 4 is be­ing built by a Ja­panese com­pany. What is Al­stom’s po­si­tion on this?

All the new projects that have been an­nounced by the gov­ern­ment are be­ing taken into con­sid­er­a­tion by Al­stom and we are look­ing for­ward to par­tic­i­pat­ing in sev­eral of them as soon as they are ten­dered. With recog­nised in­ter­na­tional in­dus­trial ex­per­tise in de­vel­op­ing sus­tain­able mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions and a real lo­cal foot­print in Egypt, Al­stom is well po­si­tioned to be part of the de­vel­op­ment of the new cap­i­tal [east of] Cairo; in­deed, we be­lieve that this project will be a sym­bol of smart cities in Africa.

Al­stom built line 1 and 2 of the metro in Cairo; is there follow up of the two lines in terms of main­te­nance or renovation? Or has Al­stom’s role ended?

Al­stom is will­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the renovation of line 1 as a start­ing point.The scope of Al­stom will bid for in­cludes the renovation of the sig­nalling sys­tem and work on power sta­tions. How­ever, Al­stom is cur­rently in charge of in­fra­struc­ture and sig­nalling main­te­nance of line 3’s first and sec­ond phase and is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the third and fourth phase too.

Egypt has signed con­tracts with a Ja­panese com­pany to ex­e­cute line 4. Is the fi­nan­cial scheme adopted in the project com­pat­i­ble with Al­stom, in terms of fi­nanc­ing projects through loans to the Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment?

Line 4 is be­ing built by a Ja­panese-Egyp­tian al­liance, and there­fore, Al­stom is look­ing at how to best con­trib­ute to this project.As for all our tender of­fers, a ded­i­cated team is com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing we pro­pose the best scheme for the project and the customer.

Do you have a co­op­er­a­tion strat­egy with African na­tions to de­velop their trans­port in­fras­truc­tures? Are you in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing in the project to con­nect north and south Africa (Alexandria to Cape Town)?

Al­stom is a com­pany with a large port­fo­lio in­clud­ing sev­eral in­no­va­tions to bet­ter ad­dress mo­bil­ity needs with prod­ucts and so­lu­tions adapted to the Mid­dle East and Africa (MEA) re­gion. There­fore, we are ready to an­swer all mo­bil­ity needs in all MEA coun­tries, in­clud­ing re­quests to de­velop trans­port in­fras­truc­tures in African na­tions. We want to of­fer our sup­port to par­tic­i­pate in the rail in­dus­try re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of coun­tries and as­sist MEA coun­tries in their rail de­vel­op­ment. Regarding the project to con­nect North and South Africa, we will study the case if we are re­quested to do so.

Tell me about the lat­est tech­nol­ogy in mo­bil­ity that Al­stom has launched?

We aim to achieve smarter mo­bil­ity for pas­sen­gers and we are do­ing so through a range of prod­ucts.

Op­ti­met Or­ban Map is an in­tel­li­gent metro map, a real-time dy­namic in­for­ma­tion for metro net­works that was de­signed for col­lec­tive use, and to be lo­cated in metro sta­tions. It al­lows vi­su­al­is­ing, at a glance, the metro net­work, its ac­tiv­ity, train po­si­tions, travel times, ser­vice in­ter­rup­tions, and the level of com­fort aboard the trains.

As pas­sen­gers are re­quir­ing more and more flex­i­bil­ity and seam­less trans­port from door to door, Al­stom has in­vested €14m in EasyMile, an in­no­va­tive startup which man­u­fac­tures an elec­tric au­ton­o­mous shut­tle called EZ10, de­fined as an elec­tric col­lec­tive shut­tle that can ac­com­mo­date up to 12 pas­sen­gers.

Since April 2015,EZ10 has been de­ployed in more than 50 lo­ca­tions in 14 coun­tries in Asia, North Amer­ica, the Mid­dle East (ME), and Europe. In France, it is now be­ing tested in Paris. The test­ing started in Septem­ber 2016.

Al­stom, to­gether with its sub­sidiary NTL, has launched a new ex­pe­ri­ence of mo­bil­ity to com­plete our emis­sion­free, 100% elec­tric range of so­lu­tions

Ap­tis’ de­sign is in­spired by the look of a tram. It of­fers pas­sen­gers a never seen be­fore full low floor. Ap­tis can carry up to 95 pas­sen­gers on board.

In our strat­egy to en­hance pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence and ac­cel­er­ate dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion of our of­fer­ings, Al­stom ac­quired No­mad Dig­i­tal, a world lead­ing provider of pas­sen­ger and fleet con­nec­tiv­ity so­lu­tions for the rail­way in­dus­try. No­mad’s so­lu­tions in­clude wifi con­nec­tion so­lu­tions as well as en­ter­tain­ment plat­forms (video, mu­sic, and play­back) or con­nected on­board ser­vices, for ex­am­ple, pas­sen­gers or­der­ing cof­fee from their seats.

We also have driv­ing as­sis­tance, which in­creases the ca­pac­ity and qual­ity of ser­vice for met­ros. Al­stom has equipped more than 50 lines with Au­to­matic Train Op­er­a­tion (ATO) in cities like Sin­ga­pore, Hong Kong, Shang­hai, Lau­sanne, and Panama City.

The com­pany has im­ple­mented some of the first driver­less met­ros in the world (Lille Metro in the 1980s and first driver­less heavy metro in Sin­ga­pore).

To make main­te­nance more ef­fi­cient, we have for­mu­lated pre­dic­tive main­te­nance mech­a­nisms through ad­vanced data sci­ence. HealthHub is a solution that col­lects data from rolling stock, in­fra­struc­ture, and sig­nalling sys­tems and al­lows pre­dic­tive main­te­nance across all as­sets. The solution en­ables shift­ing from tra­di­tional mileage-based main­te­nance to­wards con­di­tion-based and pre­dic­tive main­te­nance. To achieve this, the al­go­rithms de­vel­oped com­bine ad­vanced data anal­y­sis with the tech­ni­cal sys­tem ex­pe­ri­ence from de­sign and op­er­a­tion.

What are your projects and the value of your in­vest­ments in the MEA re­gion?

We have sev­eral em­blem­atic projects in the MEA re­gion. Some of our projects are on­go­ing and oth­ers are al­ready in com­mer­cial ser­vice.

We de­vel­oped sev­eral ur­ban projects in North and Cen­tral Africa and in the Mid­dle East, es­pe­cially in tramways and met­ros.For ex­am­ple, we de­vel­oped tramways in sev­eral cities in Morocco, Tu­nisia, and Al­ge­ria through our Ci­tal joint ven­ture (JV). We have sev­eral projects in Egypt, in­clud­ing the Cairo Metro and renovation of main rail lines with Egyp­tian Na­tional Rail­ways. Thanks to strong ex­per­tise in in­te­grated so­lu­tions (lead­er­ship in sys­tems), we suc­ceeded in im­ple­ment­ing sev­eral projects, such as the Dubai Tram, Dubai Metro ex­ten­sion, Lu­sail Tram, and Riyadh Metro.

In term of re­gional trains, sev­eral projects have been awarded to Al­stom, in­clud­ing re­gional trains in Al­ge­ria and Sene­gal, and the sub­ur­ban train be­ing built by Prasa in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Gi­bela JV, which is the most im­por­tant con­tract won by Al­stom, with 600 trains and a lo­cal fac­tory.

We also have projects in Kaza­khstan and Azer­bai­jan with 2 JVs: EKZ & KEP, as well as work on sig­nalling, ser­vices, and in­fras­truc­tures projects.

We also ex­pect to win other con­tracts in the MEA, in­clud­ing in new emerg­ing coun­tries lo­cated in Cen­tral Africa.

How many coun­tries do you have a project or more in and where? Es­pe­cially tram and metro projects.

Al­stom has a wide foot­print in sev­eral MEA coun­tries, in­clud­ing Western and Cen­tral Asia. Our vi­sion is to be close to our cus­tomers and to well un­der­stand their mo­bil­ity needs. There­fore, prox­im­ity is key to our strat­egy. With al­most 4,000 em­ploy­ees, as well as de­sign and project man­age­ment of­fices, project work­sites, and main­te­nance fa­cil­i­ties, Al­stom has been well es­tab­lished in the Mid­dle East and Africa re­gion for a long time.

We have suc­ceeded in cre­at­ing a real re­gional rail­way ecosys­tem; we have sup­plied trains, sig­nalling sys­tems, in­fra­struc­ture, and main­te­nance ser­vices in the re­gion’s main cities with the sup­port of a mix of in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal teams—more than 64 na­tion­al­i­ties are work­ing on our projects.

Fi­nally, cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity is a key el­e­ment in the de­ploy­ment of our strat­egy in the re­gion. In­deed, one of the key ac­tions we have un­der­taken is the sev­eral part­ner­ships with schools and uni­ver­si­ties we have se­cured.

To­day, we are present in more than 14 coun­tries, in­clud­ing Al­ge­ria (trams in Al­giers, Oran, Con­stan­tine, and Sidi Bel Abbes); Azer­bai­jan and Kaza­khstan (freight and pas­sen­ger lo­co­mo­tives); Egypt (Cairo Metro, renovation, sig­nalling, and in­fra­struc­ture); Saudi Ara­bia (metro); Morocco (trams in Ra­bat and Casablanca, Prima lo­co­mo­tives, elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, sig­nalling sys­tem, and main­te­nance); Qatar (tram); Sene­gal (re­gional trains); South Africa (sub­ur­ban trains); Tu­nisia (tram in Tunis and elec­tri­fi­ca­tion); Turkey (Is­tan­bul Tram and Metro, ERTMS sig­nalling, and high-speed train main­te­nance); and the UAE (Dubai Tram, main­te­nance and ex­ten­sion/ ca­pac­ity en­hance­ment of Dubai Metro).



Di­dier Pfleger, Al­stom se­nior vice pres­i­dent for the Mid­dle East and Africa

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