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MPE invests in building monorails

03/01/2013 - Valor Econômico

With two contracts already signed and eyeing the possibilities of modal distribution in the country, the Rio’s MPE group is investing, in partnership with the Malaysian company Scomi, approximately $29 million to build two monorail plants, one in Rio de Janeiro and another in Manaus. Earlier, the factory of Rio de Janeiro, in the district of Santa Cruz (West Zone), will be inaugurated on the 24th of this month and has as support the contract for the construction of the 72 cars that will make up the 24 trains of Line 17 (Gold) of the São Paulo Metro, connecting the Jabaquara station – of Line 1 (Blue) – to the Morumbi Station – of Line 4 (Yellow) –, passing through the airport of Congonhas.

Construction of the plant in Rio de Janeiro consisted mostly of a reform of the existing facilities and cost $12.35 million. According to Adagir de Salles Abreu Filho, managing director of MPE Montagens e Projetos Especiais, just a new 1,800m² shed was made out of a total building area of 7,500m² and a total area of 41,000m². The plant belongs to MPE, which participates, along with Scomi and the construction companies CR Almeida and Andrade Gutierrez, of the consortium responsible for building the line 17 of the São Paulo’s monorail.

Both the factory in Rio as in Manaus will have tax incentives. The first one will pay only 2% of Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services (ICMS) on purchases and sales, according to the state law called Rio Ferroviário. The Amazonas one will receive the incentives provided by the law of the Free Zone of Manaus.

Scomi is a major global manufacturer of monorails, as well as Canada's Bombardier and Japan's Hitachi. Bombardier, in consortium with Queiroz Galvão, holds the contract to build the Expresso Tiradentes, 23.8-km long monorail which is an extension of Line 2 (Green) of the São Paulo Metro.

In the project of Line 17, Scomi will provide the technology and will deliver, directly from Malaysia, the first of the 72 cars, besides manufacturing in Asia all trucks (wheel systems) and electronic systems of the vehicles. According to Abreu Filho, these two components are the only ones that will be imported ready and will represent 11% of the price of the trains. The remainder will be made in Brazil using imported parts, but with overall index of nationalization not less than 60%, he said.

The Manaus project will be performed by a formal association between MPE (52.5%), Scomi (37.5%) and the industrial automation company Brassell (10%), named Quark. It will be Scomi’s subcontracted in the work. The Malaysia’s company integrates, along with construction companies Serveng, Mendes Júnior and CR Almeida, the consortium responsible for building the 20 kilometers of the monorail from Manaus Monorail (Downtown-North Zone) that should be made for the World Cup, but it is now expected to be ready in 2015.

The Manaus plant will cost approximately $17.29 million, and the land has already been purchased for $94,000 from the Superintendence of the Free Zone of Manaus (Suframa). Abreu Filho said the plant will produce 59 of the 60 cars (the first will be manufactured in Malaysia) of the ten trains that will operate on the monorail of Amazônia. The idea is that the Rio de Janeiro factory give support to the Manaus unit, and may also make the ceilings and floors of the cars.

According to Renato Abreu, president of MPE, Quark will be a company dedicated to dispute the construction of trains and also the operating systems (electrical, electronic, telecommunications and signaling) for the monorail networks that may be built in Brazil. For him, once the first monorail in São Paulo come into operation, its efficiency for operation in already densely populated areas with relatively low construction cost will attract the attention of other cities, and then there may be a boom of this kind of work in Brazil.

Among the advantages of the monorail, the executive enumerates the relatively low space occupation, the possibility to be built with little or no expropriation and the quiet (the train is electric), low environmental impact operation, both in terms of sound as interference in the urban landscape.

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