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L&T lands mega deal to build Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train power system

The bullet train line spanning 508 km will have 12 stations and is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency 

L&T lands mega deal to build Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train power system
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

Indian engineering and construction giant Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) has secured a mega contract worth over ₹10,000 crore ($1.2 billion) to build 508 km of high-speed electrification system for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.

Upon completion, this electrification system will enable trains to travel at a speed of up to 320 km per hour.

The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is being implemented by an authorized Japanese agency on behalf of India’s National High-Speed Rail Corp. Ltd (NHSRCL).

The railway strategic business group of L&T Construction was awarded the contract to build the electrification system for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project by the authorized Japanese agency, the company said in a press release.

L&T did not disclose the financial details of the contract, but categorized it as a “mega contract”. Any project from ₹10,000 crore to ₹15,000 crore, or $1.2 billion to $1.8 billion, is classified as “mega” by the conglomerate.

It is a first-of-its-kind railway electrification project for India involving the implementation of Japanese Shinkansen high-speed electrification technology with sophisticated equipment.

Shinkansen is a network of high-speed trains in Japan, popularly known as bullet trains.

As part of the contract, L&T will design, manufacture, supply, construct, install, test, and commission a 2×25 kV power supply electrification system including traction substations, high-speed overhead equipment, and medium voltage/low voltage (MV/LV) power distribution equipment.

L&T said it possesses expertise in the railway electrification domain, including conventional systems, catenary systems for metros and light rail, and special Japanese type feeder messenger systems.

The company has previous experience in building electrification projects in India and abroad including Mauritius LRT, Dhaka Metro, Mumbai Metro, Agra Metro, Chennai Metro, and the Indian Railways.

Commenting on the new contract, L&T chairman & managing director S.N. Subrahmanyan said, “This MAHSR systems package is critical for the success of the Bullet Train Project. Proud to say that this win shall place L&T’s Railways Business amongst the top global Railway System Integrators covering Mainline, Metro, and High-Speed Rail segments.”

“This success, on top of the earlier trackworks and civil packages, reflects the customer’s and the Japanese government’s huge trust on L&T’s design and execution capabilities. The realization of the MAHSR Project will change the paradigm of long-distance transportation in the country,” Subrahmanyan said.

L&T, a $23 billion Indian multinational, is already involved in constructing civil viaducts, station packages, track and depot packages, and special steel bridge packages as part of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.

The bullet train project, being developed in partnership with the Japanese government, started in 2017 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone in September.

The high-speed train project covers a distance of 508 km and will have 12 stations.

Last week, railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the first bullet train is poised to commence operations by 2026  between Surat and Bilimora in Gujarat.

Vaishnaw expressed satisfaction with the progress of the work and said the project is proceeding according to the designated timeline.

“270-km-long wire duct has been put in place. Work is going on as per schedule. The work of the Mumbai-Thane under-sea tunnel has also begun. The construction of bridges on eight rivers that will lie on the route is going on rapidly. Two bridges have already been completed. The work on Sabarmati terminal station is also nearly completed,” Vaishnaw said at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit on 11 January.

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