Bombardier says ramp down in resources 'normal'

09 August 2016

Firm insists it will sign new projects

Canadian aircraft and trains manufacturer Bombardier has told MEED it is currently ”in a ramp-down phase of certain project resources as part of a normal adjustment given the various stages of the local projects”.

MEED reported on 8 August that the firm is scaling back its Middle East operations.

“Bombardier has ambitious growth plans for the region, with several schemes targeted in the coming 18 to 24 months,” Sandy Roth, head of communications for Western Europe, Middle East and Africa at Bombardier Transportation, told MEED via email on 8 August.

These opportunities include those offered by the $32bn Al-Maktoum airport expansion in Dubai, Egypt’s 6th October monorail, several other Egyptian opportunities, and service business in Saudi Arabia, Roth said.

The executive said they will continue to maintain several project and representative offices in the region, particularly in Riyadh and Dubai.

“With the new projects coming on stream, Bombardier is also looking at establishing a new engineering and project management hub in the region,” Roth said.

Several sources from the firm’s rail division have informed MEED that Bombardier has initiated a move to significantly reduce its employee numbers in the region. “Some have been made redundant, while others have left the company and the country upon the completion of their contracts,” one of the sources, who had left both the company and the UAE, told MEED on 7 August.

Bombardier’s rail business has experienced mixed fortunes in the GCC. It signed a $383m deal to supply rolling stock for the Riyadh Metro in 2013. The work involves supplying 47 of its Innovia Metro 300 two-car driverless trains that are equipped with Mitrac propulsion technology.

In 2010, the firm was subcontracted by Saudi Oger to engineer, procure, construct and operate the electrical and mechanical elements of a monorail system for the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh. The subcontract included the supply of six trains. KAFD, however, has faced major delays. It is currently 70 per cent complete, but is struggling to lease space to financial institutions.

Bombardier also leads one of two consortiums that made an offer for the deal to build a monorail system in Greater Cairo in Egypt. The Prime Minister’s office is understood to be in the final stages of reviewing the offers from Bombardier and China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC).

The project was initially being supervised by the Ministry of Housing, Utilities & Urban Development, which prematurely announced in May 2015 that it had commissioned the Canadian-led team to build the scheme. The Ministry of Transport subsequently took over the project in late 2015, and said it would be working closely with the housing ministry on the implementation. CGGC subsequently made its offer.

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