South Korea: The producers made bids in a 760 bln KRW ($582.5 mln) tender for 17 eight-car EMU-320 trains announced by the national operator Korail.
The tender is being held for the second time. The first time only Hyundai Rotem participated in it. Therefore the tender was declared unsuccessful and the procedure was launched again. Interestingly that in 2022 an investigation in Korea found collusion between Hyundai Rotem, Woojin Industrial Systems and another player, Dawonsys, in bidding for rolling stock. As a result, Korail did not impose a mandatory high-speed train manufacturing experience requirement in the new procurement.
Last autumn, Hyundai Rotem presented such a train with a design speed of 320 km/h: it already has a contract for two such vehicles.
According to local media, Woojin was expected to bid in consortium with Spain’s Talgo, as it has never produced high-speed trains. The participation of a foreign manufacturer in South Korean procurement might have been the first case since 2005, but eventually Woojin entered the competition without a partner. The Korean manufacturer notes that Talgo rejected the consortium because of “various liability issues”.
Korail plans to select the final successful bidder this month at the earliest after evaluating the bids of Hyundai Rotem and Woojin.