Hyundai Rotem has signed a contract to supply train sets for Cairo Metro line 2 in August 2019, and the company will start delivery in June 2021, revealed Ham Dae-Hoon, the company’s senior manager for Egypt branch.
“Currently, we are in the designing phase which is conducted by the R&D centre in Korea,” he added. In August 2019, the National Authority for Tunnels signed two contracts with Hyundai Rotem and Socofer to provide six new metro trains and two locomotives for metro line 2.
Hyundai Rotem partnered with SEMAF, a member of Arab Organization for Industrialization, which provides local manufacturing services through its factory in Helwan.
Daily News Egypt interviewed Ham to get a closer look into the company’s current deals in the local market and its future strategy.
Can you please shed light on your historical cooperation with Egypt?
Hyundai Rotem contracted with the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) in December 2012 to supply 20 train sets for the Cairo Metro line 1.
Thanks to our local partners and devoted employees who have worked with us on the way, we believe that we have successfully provided high-quality rail transportation to the public. We got positive feedbacks from passengers, which makes us think that we have been doing a good job so far. Customer satisfaction is our top priority.
How do you see the business environment in Egypt?
Egypt has a very unique business environment, different from what we have experienced in other countries. It is true that we have faced some difficulties adapting to this new environment with its different cultural background, but as time goes on, we are seeing positive factors in Egypt.
Egypt enjoys skilful and enthusiastic engineers, well-trained technicians, and cooperative partners willing to help us in our business.
In August 2019, the NAT signed two contracts with Hyundai Rotem and Socofer to provide six metro trains and two locomotives for Cairo Metro line 2, have you delivered them?
We have signed the contract on 6 August, and will start delivering the train sets in June 2021. Currently we are in the designing phase which is conducted by the R&D centre in South Korea.
Will the company’s management board in Korea visit Egypt soon?
As we are working on huge public transportation projects in Egypt, our high-level managements are committed to our projects in Egypt. Our management visits Egypt several times every year.
Do you think of establishing a factory in Egypt in the future?
For our current ongoing contracts, we are partnered with SEMAF, a member of the Arab Organization for Industrialization, who provides local manufacturing services through their factory in Helwan. For future opportunities in Egypt, we are always open to investments in Egypt.
How many deals have you have inked with Egypt so far?
We currently have three contracts with the NAT. The first was signed in December 2012 to supply 20 train sets and its maintenance, the second was in June 2017 to supply 32 train sets and its maintenance, and finally the supply of six trainsets and its maintenance, which was agreed in August 2019.
Do you plan to enter new projects in Egypt in the field of transportation?
Hyundai Rotem has experience supplying various types of railway vehicles, including electric multiple units (EMUs), high speed trains, light rail vehicles (LRVs), diesel multiple units (DMUs), locomotives, passenger coaches, and freight wagons.
We also have affiliated companies in Hyundai Motors group who could provide services in different areas such as constructions, rail infrastructures, and signalling system.
Do you have any military supply deals with Egypt?
After competing against the Leclerc and Leopard 2, Hyundai Rotem has signed its first export contract, including technological transfer and design assistance to Turkey in June 2007. We have not yet cooperated with Egypt in the field of defence; however, we look forward to cooperating with Egypt in various areas, including defence.
How many job opportunities do you offer in Egypt?
We currently have 40 employees and approximately 40 others coming from our partner in Metro line 1 maintenance project.
Do you have any scheduled meetings with Egypt’s Minister of Transportation or high-level Egyptian officials?
We have met with several Egyptian officials in August during the signing ceremony of our last contract. We are looking forward to meeting with them on a regular basis to facilitate our work, so that the citizens can enjoy a better experience in public transportation.
What about your five-year strategy in the Egyptian market?
In the rail industry, participation of private companies in governmental projects is becoming highly important. We plan to focus on the needs of our customers and provide high-quality services to enhance passenger experience using our products and enrich their daily life through providing sustainable mobility. We are also seeking opportunities in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) projects involving business development and financing.
Do you have any CSR activities in Egypt?
Hyundai Rotem continuously conducts social contribution activities. We are not only striving to conduct eco-friendly economic activities and preserve the environment, but also actively carry out our social responsibilities as a corporate citizen.
What about Hyundai Rotem deals in 2018?
Hyundai Rotem is operating overseas entities in more than 20 countries worldwide, and has received KRW 2,983bn ($2.5m) worth orders in 2018 from some countries, such as Taiwan, Bangladesh, and Kazakhstan.