Van Der Ende making a point

Van Der Ende making a point

AFI eyes railway projects

AFI is moving energetically towards capturing a share in the billions of dollars’ worth of railway projects in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East region

01 May 2013

Alaa for Industry (AFI) has announced it is partnering with international specialist manufacturers and suppliers for a share in railway projects in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia.

It says its business development director Erik Van Der Ende has been working on strategic alliances for gaining railway business in the next two years. “There have been discussions and collaborations with ITT/Koni, GMT and Photon Meissener Technologies GmbH,” said AFI marketing supervisor Matio P Morales.  ITT/Koni is a leading manufacturer of shock absorbers for railways, GMT specialises in anti-vibration solutions and Photon is a manufacturer of emergency and signal technology for special applications including railways.

AFI will also be working with other partners including Avery’s railway division, Mobotix, SKF and Lincoln. It is looking at two project categories with Avery, Photon and Mobotix assisting on the infrastructure side and ITT/Koni, GMT, SKF and Lincoln partnering for dampers and rolling stock. 

To explore opportunities and come close to decision-makers, AFI took part in the Middle East Rail 2013 trade show held at the World Trade Centre in Dubai earlier this year and attended by delegations from global markets. AFI was particularly interested in a talk on shock absorbers delivered by Peter Van Der Wall, ITT/Koni’s vice president for marketing, sales and R&D, and a presentation by Frank Garritsen, CEO and owner of Bega Special Tools, which AFI described as one of its partners.

The AFI booth at Middle East Rail 2013
in Dubai

“We’re looking forward to building a stronger relationship with ITT/Koni, GMT and Photon to work as a team in the railways sector,” Morales said.

AFI, in association with its partners, is offering stationary and dynamic weighing systems, rubber components for bogies and station intercom systems and surveillance cameras. The company will involve its engineering, design and IT teams and can offer maintenance and refurbishment from within its workshop and production facilities.

AFI’s role in the railways sector has so far been limited to supplying dampers and rolling stock. “Currently we’re bidding for installing CCTV cameras for the Saudi Railway line from Dammam to Riyadh,” said Morales.

Saudi Arabia is expected to invest $45 billion for establishing a 7,000 km railway network which will include major projects such as the Saudi Landbridge, Haramain High Speed Rail and links to the GCC network.

Gulf states are expected to spend more than $100 billion on railway projects within their frontiers and on links with neighbouring states in the next seven years.

AFI was established in 1984 in Dammam. Since then it has been engaged in the manufacture of hydraulic seals and trading of industrial products. The company is registered under the Ibrahim Ali Al Rashoodi & Partners Holding Company LLC and has several subsidiary companies with diverse business interests. It has 17 branch offices across the Gulf and over 1,000 employees.

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