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Company Wins Slice Of Trans-Asian Railway Project

Auckland Engineering Company Wins Slice Of Huge Trans-Asian Railway Project

Auckland, 10 May 2002 -- Auckland company MANCO Engineering Ltd has won a multi-million dollar contract for specialist equipment to help electrify Malaysia’s railway system, part of a huge project that will eventually see a high speed Trans-Asian rail link constructed to connect Singapore to China.

MANCO Chief Executive Bryan Black says his company secured a contract to provide specialist railroad transporters, cranes and augering equipment. This equipment will be used for moving construction equipment, poles, men and drills through difficult terrain, including jungle, to get access on and off the railway track.

Mr Black considers there is excellent potential for New Zealand engineering companies to win key business as the Trans-Asian project moves through Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and into Southern China.

“The governments of these countries have got together to develop a fabulous new railway system. The ten year dual track electrification project will provide a new railway infrastructure for both freight and passenger transportation throughout Asia, similar to Europe’s network.”

Mr Black says the Malaysian contract is a major step forward for MANCO, which has been manufacturing specialist railway equipment for electrification projects since the Hamilton to Palmerston North main trunk electrification 18 years ago. MANCO has since supplied railway transporters for several similar projects, such as electrification of the Central Queensland coal fields to Mackay in Australia.

“You have to wait a long time for railway infrastructure projects such as this to happen, but when they do, they are huge projects that spin out a lot of opportunity,” says Mr Black.

MANCO equipment was ordered and will be operated by the international railway construction company Balfour Beatty, one of the principal contractors to the Malaysian project.

The first shipment of machinery is scheduled to leave Auckland port for Malaysia today and will include two 50 tonne rail transporters, and two 20 tonne crane auger trucks, that can travel/operate on both road and rail.

Incorporated in the equipment supply package will be refurbished ex-New Zealand Army unimogs, which will be fitted with specialist rail operational plant, elevated platforms and cranes. Mr Black says the unimogs, with their four-wheel drive capability, are ideal for Balfour Beatty to transport men and equipment to work through often hostile terrain. Traditionally used to transport soldiers, the unimogs can also be converted into first aid centres, workshops and offices.

Mr Black says MANCO’s engineers and proposal package was evaluated and put through a rigorous selection process against competitive international bids. While MANCO is an established exporter to Australia, this is its first venture into Asia.

He says Trade New Zealand assisted with local knowledge about how to do business in Malaysia and it also helped having a lot of expatriate Kiwi engineers working on the project who were familiar with MANCO’s work.

Trade New Zealand New Zealand Account Manager Frank Tay congratulated MANCO on winning the Malaysian rail contract.

“This is a real coup for a New Zealand engineering company and will hopefully be MANCO’s entrée to more work on the Trans-Asian rail link.”

MANCO is a privately owned specialist engineering company located in East Tamaki Auckland. As well as railway equipment, it manufactures robotic side loading arms for refuse collection now common-place in European cities and the Auckland Harbour Bridge lane barrier moving machine.

Mr Black says he hopes MANCO’s success on the Malaysian project and the huge scope of the Trans-Asian Railway project will inspire other New Zealand exporters.

“There are other work opportunities that New Zealand companies would be very capable of bidding on – we’d be very happy to talk with them and Trade New Zealand is always available to assist those who are interested.”

For further information, photos of the equipment or video footage of the transportation and loading of the equipment onto the ship, please contact:

Ends

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