Tata Steel on Tuesday said its European unit Corus has secured a 350 million euro ($510 million) contract from French railway operator SNCF and announced €35 million ($51 million) investment at its rail production facility in Hayange, France.
Under the contract, Corus will supply rails for up to six years to SNCF for the renewal and maintenance of the RFF (Réseau Ferré de France) tracks. The contract is for an initial four years with the option to extend it by a further two years, Tata Steel said in a release.
"Corus will invest €35 million in new technology at its rail production facility in Hayange, in the Lorraine region of north-east France, to allow it to produce longer rails," the release said, adding, "The investment in a range of new manufacturing equipment will improve the plant's efficiency and enable workers to produce 108-metre long rails."
"Being able to produce 108-metre-long rails opens up new opportunities for us and puts us in a better position to supply the growing demand for high-speed rail lines. By 2011 we will be among just a handful of producers with this world-class capability," Gérard Glas, director-general of Corus Rail (France), said.
"This significant contract with SNCF also gives us the confidence to invest in our Hayange plant," he added.
He said Corus has completed engineering studies at the Hayange plant and work will begin in the New Year. Corus would engage up to 400 contractors at the peak of the enhancement work - from design and mechanical engineers to electricians and demolition experts.