German technology giant Siemens is starting the construction of the tramway factory in Gebze along with a research and development center. According to Dünya daily, the factory will be opened in 2017, and the company is planning to produce 100 models annually. Siemens will provide 50 percent of the tram supplies from the domestic producers.
Siemens transportation division CEO Cüneyt Genç announced that the company has already assigned the place that will provide a 50 percent capacity increase just next to the factory. Genç said: "The models, which will be produced at the Gebze tramway factory have high standards, and they are preferred by most countries around the world. The models will be used in many countries, particularly in Turkey and European countries."
Moreover, this week Genç said the company was eager to bid for 80 high speed-train purchase tenders from the Ministry of Transport, Maritime and Communication in mid-2016. "We are eager to bid, and we are currently evaluating [the tenders]," Genç told Reuters.
The companies that want to participate in the tender are expected to find a partner in Turkey, and produce in a facility that they will build in the country according to agreed terms. "Our evaluations to find a domestic partner are in progress," Genç said.
Turkish State Railways (TCDD) purchased seven high speed-trains from Siemens in 2013. Entering the Turkish high speed-train market with this purchase, Siemens has delivered one of the trains and is planning to deliver the other six within 2016. Genç said that the winning company should establish a production facility, but Siemens has already built a tramway factory in Gebze independently. "We decided to establish this factory using our own initiative, not as a pre-condition of a tender," Genç added.
Siemens started building the factory with a 30-million-euro investment in 2015 and aims to start production in late-2017. The Transport, Maritime and Communication Ministry has so far been using high speed trains between Istanbul-Ankara and between Ankara-Konya lines. Along with the spread of the high speed-train network, the program covers the purchase of 106 more high-speed trains, 80 of which will be tendered in mid-2016. Transport, Maritime and Communication Minister Binali Yıldırım earlier said that the tender value could reach $5 billion to $6 billion. So far, three companies have announced their participation in the tender. While Spanish Patentes Talgo will join the tender with Tümosan and Canadian Bombardier will join with Bozankaya. French company Alstom has not announced its domestic partner yet.