Three hundred jobs will be created at a new train and tram factory that is to be built at Newport.
Spanish company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) is investing £30m in the new plant, described as a centre of excellence for the manufacture of UK rolling stock.
More than 100 locations in the UK were considered for the plant, with the Celtic Business Park in Newport chosen from one of four potential sites that were short listed.
CAF is a major international rolling stock manufacturer with plants in Brazil, Mexico and the US as well as Spain.
Founded in 1917, it specialises in the manufacture of light rail, rapid transit and railway rolling stock.
The Newport factory is being designed so that CAF can build a range of different trains, including diesel multiple units, electric multiple units, trams and high speed trains.
It will enable the company to assemble, test and commission new vehicles and have capacity to undertake future manufacturing projects as well as maintenance and servicing activities.
|One of the new Northern trains being built by CAF in Spain|
Richard Garner, CAF’s UK Director, said: “CAF is an established supplier to the UK market, and we now have solid economic basis for further increasing our footprint in the UK.
“The establishment of this facility will serve CAF’s long-term aspirations to dominate the UK market for many years to come.”
CAF has had a presence in the UK rail market since the 1990s, supplying units for the Heathrow Express link from the airport to Paddington in that decade.
More recently it has supplied trains to Northern Ireland Railways and trams for the cities of Birmingham and Edinburgh.
Last year it signed a contract to supply sleeper cars for the London and Glasgow-Edinburgh routes, as well as units for Arriva Rail North and the FirstGroup’s TransPennine Express franchise.
|TransPennine have ordered 12 five car sets of Intercity EMU trains from CAF|
Also announced this month is that CAF are acquiring the engineering company BWB Consulting, on of the most prestigious consulting companies in the United Kingdom, will allow CAF to consolidate their presence in the country whilst strengthening their position as a comprehensive rail service supplier.
In 2015, CAF signed a contract for approximately € 200 M for the supply of the Caledonian Sleeper cars that will operate between London and Glasgow-Edinburgh. In 2016, the Company also secured a number of important deals. Among these, the contract signed with the Arriva Rail North Limited operator for the manufacture of two fleets of 43 electric trains and 55 diesel trains respectively, as well as the First Group Operator project for the supply and maintenance of 66 passenger cars and 12 5-car electric units deserve particular attention. Both projects stand at a total of close to € 1 billion.
|The interiors of the new Caledonian Sleeper coaches|
This confirms how strategically important the United Kingdom is for CAF. In the words of Josu Imaz, Director of Filiales y Desarrollo Corporativo (Subsidiaries and Corporate Development) of the CAF Group, "for us, BWB Consulting is an example of British engineering at its best. We have ambitious plans to diversify our business, to broaden out turnkey engineering activities, and we foresee that BWB will play a particularly significant role in this strategy."
"We are already committed to substantial investment in the United Kingdom through CAF Rail UK. With BWB, we will provide the resources required to appropriately develop their own strategy and also to work in collaboration with CAF to explore new markets and opportunities."
With this agreement, BWB Consulting, one of the 30 largest British engineering consulting companies, sets about the implementation of significant expansion both in the United Kingdom and abroad, as it forms a part of CAF, a large Group dedicated to providing comprehensive transport systems.
|CAF has had a presence in the UK rail market since the 1990s, supplying units for the Heathrow Express link from the airport to Paddington in that decade|
BWB's administration and head offices are located in Nottingham whilst other officers are strategically located up and down England in cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Cambridge and Northampton.
With an annual turnover or 22 million pounds, BWB comprises a workforce of over 300, having undergone significant growth over the last few years as a result of its successful business model.
BWB has received awards on a number of occasions in honour of their excellence in terms of work performance and rendering of engineering services. It has also been included in the list of top British engineering companies for the second year running, in the awards ceremony held last June by the Association of British Engineering and Consulting Companies.
BWB will carry out activities with CAF TURNKEY & ENGINEERING, a subsidiary of the CAF Group, in charge of heading up Turnkey Projects and a benchmark in the railway engineering sector.
This operation will provide CAF with the chance to extend its portfolio of services by strengthening engineering in the fields of infrastructures, the environment and construction and also Project Management It obtains direct standing in the British market and lays the foundations to render international comprehensive engineering services. BWB can also implement their plans for growth by means of the business opportunities in their strategy plan together with the synergies created with the CAF Group, which includes new markets, technological advances and future society trends, such as Smart Cities.
BWB will play a major role in CAF's plans to diversify and extend the Group's presence in English-speaking markets, as well as to expand their transport engineering services on an international scale.