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High competition for the major EMU tender in Portugal

26 February 2022
Reading time ~ 4 min
Commuter services trains of CP at the Porto-Sao Bento station
Commuter services trains of CP at the Porto-Sao Bento station. Source: Luís Peres Marcelino,
Belov Sergey, Editor-in-Chief, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 4 min
Litvintsova Olga, Editor of International Projects, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Portugal: Several global producers, CRRC, Alstom, Siemens, Hitachi, Stadler, CAF, became known as contestants for the state railway operator CP Comboios de Portugal contract for the $927 mln USD supply of 117 electric trains, writes

The list of participants was named by CP. Totally 6 proposals were made: CRRC, CAF, Hitachi Rail and Stadler Rail made stand-alone bids, as well as 2 bids were received from the consortiums: one from Siemens – Talgo and another from Alstom – DST (the Portuguese construction company).

It is planned to award the contract at the end of 2022. The first 4-car EMU is required to be produced, tested and be supplied in 40 months after the contract signing. Next batches of 3 trains should come to CP each month. Additionally, CP may exercise the option for the delivery of 36 more EMUs.  One of the major requirements for the tender winner is to build the maintenance workshop in the north part of Portugal, within CP’s facilities.

This tender is going to be the biggest in the history of the national railway sector. With this initiative, the Portuguese government seeks to give impulse to railway industry and to recover economy after post-pandemic crisis, with the expectation that the winner will set production in Portugal. As Dinheiro Vivo wrote in July of 2021, it is planned to get 25% of needed investment via a carbon tax on the air, sea and river transportation services, 75% – as European funds. Recently, the Portuguese logistics operator Medway has also announced plans to establish freight railcar production in the country, too.

CP 2240 series trains by EMEF that will be replaced by the new EMUs CP 2240 series trains by EMEF that will be replaced by the new EMUs. Source: Miguel Pereira Da Silva, Lusa

All trains are planned to use for the regional (55 EMUs) and commuter passenger services (62 EMUs). The rolling stock needs to have bi-mode traction (1.5 kV DC and 25 kV AC). Also, as to, the possibility of track gauge change (1435 mm/1668 mm) during operation is needed to be provided. Additional requirement is stated for cybersecurity: new trains must meet IEC 62443 standard. The EMUs should be incorporated with all the technological advances, such as a lowered floor, toilets for people with disabilities, passenger information systems and a Wi-Fi network.

According to Dinheiro Vivo, there will be 5 criteria to choose a winner. Of the total 104.2 points, 56 takes into account the quality of EMUs, 21 – its price and the payment terms, 8 – the warranty period, Also 15 maximum points will be given to the participants according to the proposed level of production localization in Portugal.

Almost all competitors have already made several footsteps in Portugal. So CRRC is executing the order of Metro de Porto for 18 LRV vehicles for the city’s network. Stadler Rail has already won the CP contract for 22 regional FLIRT trains supply from 2025. As to CAF, the Spanish producer has a various portfolio in Portugal: it jointly with Alstom took part in production of CP 3500 Series EMUs in 1998-1999 and in 2021 was selected to supply 15 trams to Lisbon. Also Alstom was leading the consortium that supplied CP 2600 Series locomotives in 70-80s and Siemens helped national Sorefame to build CP 5600 Series locomotives in 1993-1995.