France's Alstom announced on Monday that it will built a plant in Brazil to manufacture commuter trains for Rio de Janeiro.
The announcement was made at a ceremony attended by Rio de Janeiro state Gov. Sergio Cabral, Alstom Brasil President Marcos Costa and the chief of rail operator SuperVia, Carlos Jose Cunha.
SuperVia, which operates the passenger trains in the city of Rio de Janeiro, will invest 300 million reais ($150 million) in buying 20 new trains with a total of 80 cars.
The trains have already been ordered from Alstom but the initial contract said they would be built in France and delivered between 2016 and 2020.
The new contract anticipates delivery by September 2014 and sets forth that a portion of them will be made at a factory in the Rio neighborhood of Deodoro.
Of the 300 million reais invested by SuperVia, 20 million reais will be allocated to the construction of the train factory on a plot totaling 32,000 square meters (about 344,000 square feet) that the operator has in Deodoro.
Alstom, which will run the factory, will begin building it in January.
Establishing the factory in Rio de Janeiro will allow the trains to have at least 70 percent Brazilian content.
The agreement also says that the local labor will be hired and trained to man the plant.
The investment in the factory and the 20 new trains are part of an agreement between SuperVia and the state government to invest the equivalent of $1.2 billion in modernizing Rio's passenger train system. EFE