Bullet train project: Consortium of LT, Japanese firm bags Rs 1,390 crore contact for steel bridges

Bullet train

Bullet train

A consortium of construction major Larsen and Toubro and Japanese IHI Infrastructure Systems on Monday bagged the Rs 1,390-crore contract for procurement and fabrication of 28 steel bridges for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor, the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited said. These bridges will be built over railway lines, rivers, highways, roads and other structures, it said in a statement.

It is estimated that about 70,000 MT of steel will be used for the fabrication of these bridges and Indian steel industries and their allied supply chains will get a big boost, the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) said. “Indian steel manufactures will be providing quality steel for the fabrication of super structures for these steel bridges. The NHSRCL has already sensitised the Indian steel industries to cater to such a huge demand for India’s first high speed rail corridor,” it said.

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The NHSRCL has already awarded civil contracts for the construction of 64 per cent of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Corridor alignment which includes a train depot at Surat, a mountain tunnel of 350 metre and five HSR stations — Vapi, Billimora, Surat, Bharuch and Anand/Nadiad. In total, 28 steel bridges with individual spans varying from 60 metre to 130 metre will be constructed for the project. The length of all the steel bridges put together will be around 4.5 km and their construction will involve more than 70,000 tons of steel fabrication, the statement said.

For this purpose, at the initial stages, the steel super structure work was assigned to Japan Lead (JV) companies, as the job required construction of steel super structure bridges of high-quality Japanese standards for high speed railway. But as the ‘Make in India’ prospect took flight and fabrication of steel structures are being executed by Indian companies for all other railway projects, the NHSRCL looked into the possibility of opening steel structure fabrication bid to Indian companies as well, the statement said.

On discussion with the Japanese side for opening steel superstructure works to Indian companies also, a high-power committee comprising of experts from both the Indian and Japanese sides, namely NHSRCL, India Experts and JRTT, was formed in March 2019, it said. The committee’s main task was to assess the capability of various Indian fabricators and ensure whether they can be entrusted with the work, the statement said.

It was also tasked with the responsibility of recommending improvements to Indian fabricators so that their fabrication quality meets Japanese and global high speed railway standards. The committee mentioned that manufacturing of steel bridges can be achieved by Indian fabrication companies as they have the infrastructure. With the support of highly-skilled human resource and a systematic human-training system the required quality level can be achieved, it said.

“Opening of steel fabrication to Indian companies will not only reduce cost but will also give a boost to the ‘Make in India’ aspect of the business, and as a result upgrade the standards of fabrication in the country. Enhanced skills of Indian technicians will further pave the way for ‘Make for World’ and put Indian companies for fabrication of reliable, cost-effective and high-quality products on the global map,” the statement said.