British Steel’s Export Sales Manager, Rail, Jérôme Bonef said: “This is fantastic news for our business, particularly given the high-level of competition we faced to secure this contract.
“Our steel sleepers provide the perfect technical solution to the challenges facing rail operators in this region, and we’re proud to have been chosen to support such a major project.”
British Steel’s contract with the Guinea Bauxite Company (Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée, CBG) will see it deliver 20,000 tonnes of its 436 profile steel sleepers over the next year.
Guinea is estimated to possess more than a quarter of the world’s supply of bauxite and as it continues to increase its export capacity, it needs to upgrade existing freight lines.
The UK manufacturer has partnered on the project with Doncaster-based Trackwork which processes the rolled sleeper into its finished form, and French manufacturer Pandrol which is providing the railway fastenings to secure the sleepers.
Jérôme said: “We have long-term partnerships with Trackwork and Pandrol. Together we’re able to provide a complete global supply chain solution involving processed steel sleepers and railway fastenings. This enables us to meet all heavy haul technical requirements and deliver a cost-effective and timely solution to our customer.”
Steel sleepers are stronger and more durable than wooden sleepers which have been traditionally used in African regions. Steel sleepers are also 100% recyclable.
Additionally, the transportation of steel sleepers is much more efficient than the transportation of their concrete equivalents, as they are lighter and easily stacked – road vehicles can carry 3 times more steel sleepers than concrete, meaning lower transportation costs.
Trackwork Sales manager Dave Roberts said: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of securing this contract; the most significant single order for steel railway sleepers in the long history of our partnership with British Steel. Succeeding in the face of such high-level competition bears full testament to the expertise, competence and quality within our long-established global supply chain.”
Doncaster has rail in its DNA and this has created the perfect blueprint for the sector to grow and thrive. It is no coincidence that the city that is home to the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman has become a flourishing hub for the rail sector. For over 150 years, Doncaster has been at the forefront of national and international railway engineering and operational excellence.
The combination of excellent connectivity, a well-established supply chain, first-class training facilities and a highly skilled workforce has led to over 50 rail-related companies setting up successful business here. Major rail companies located here include Network Rail, Hitachi, Unipart Rail, iPort Rail, Volker Rail and SPL/Engie plus a host of other SMEs.
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