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February 1, 2023

Astra Vagoane Calatori Arad – at global competitiveness standards

Companies being reborn in Romania’s industry

Astra Vagoane Arad is known in Romania especially for train carriages delivered well over 30 years ago, some of which can still be seen in use by the Bucharest Subway. Today, SC Astra Vagoane Calatori SA, a part of the Arad-based company, is appreciated particularly for its export results. The most important contract it currently handles is with VALE, one of the biggest companies in the world, a company whose headquarters are located in Rio de Janeiro. The Arad-based company won a tender for EUR 100 M, covering its production capacity for two years.
Mr. Valer Blidar, the owner of Astra Vagoane Calatori, recently pointed out:
“We have a contract to build 200 carriages for Brazil, a contract that covers a period of two years and that is progressing normally. Currently we have here a commission of reception from that country, a third batch of products being on its way to Constanta port in order to be loaded on ships and sent to Brazil. I have to tell you that the Brazilian side is simply thrilled with what we have done. An important director from the beneficiary’s side is currently in Arad and he has confessed that what he has found here is way above his expectations.”
At present, SC ASTRA Vagoane Calatori SA has all the capacities needed to produce all types of passenger carriages for international UIC traffic at speeds of 200 kilometers per hour, subways, tramways, maintenance services, reconstruction and modernization services for passenger carriages, as well as solutions in line with the clients’ needs. The Arad-based Astra Vagoane Calatori company is one of Romania’s top 20 biggest private Romanian capital export companies. In order to modernize its technologies and enhance its technical and commercial performance, the company contracted a two-year EUR 10 M loan from EximBank, according to information that appeared in the Official Gazette.
“EximBank has signed a financial agreement with the Astra Vagoane Calatori company, the company receiving from the bank a multi-product financing ceiling of EUR 10 M,” EximBank representatives quoted by ‘ZF’ daily stated.
Will we have Romanian-made subway carriages again?
The Arad-based Astra Vagoane Calatori company has participated in the tender recently organized by Metrorex Bucharest. The tender was organized for the purchase of 51 new subway trains. Five important international companies have already filed offers. According to the analysis, Astra Vagoane Calatori offered the best price – EUR 260 M. France’s Alstom, China’s CSR, Poland’s PESA and Spain’s CAF also took part in the tender. PESA made the most expensive offer, namely EUR 341 M. China’s CSR offered EUR 272 M, CAF EUR 310 M and Alstom EUR 322 M. This was the first part of the tender. The technical offer is up next, and Metrorex’s Tender Commission will announce a winner in the next 45 days.
Astra Vagoane Calatori Director General Gheorghe Sirbu stated: “The offer filed by our company is complete from a technical point of view, answering all technical requirements included in the tender book.” Thus, this is the Arad-based company’s first step towards winning a very important tender. Everyone here is confidently waiting for the analysis of the technical offer too. On that, Director Sirbu stated the following: “We are confidently waiting for the members of Metrorex’s assessment commission to finish analyzing the offers filed by all companies and we hope we will be declared winners. Apart from the fact that our product has a qualitative and aesthetical level above what Metrorex has purchased so far, the post-warranty cost of use will be at least 50 per cent smaller than in the case of imported options. Likewise, I believe we also have a competitive edge over our competitors and namely the fact that in Astra’s case the time of intervention will not surpass 12 hours from the moment a request is filed, compared to 15-30 days in the case of foreign companies.” Let us hope Metrorex’s assessors will decide fairly and that Astra Vagoane Calatori will once again be present on the Romanian market.

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