Mumbai, India (Metro Rail Today): Hindalco Industries Limited, the world's largest aluminum rolling and recycling company, has forged a groundbreaking technology partnership with Italy-based Metra SpA, renowned for its expertise in producing structured and value-added aluminum extrusions. This strategic partnership is set to usher in a new era of high-speed aluminum rail coach manufacturing in India, aligning with Hindalco's commitment to bolster domestic manufacturing capabilities and support the Indian Government's vision.
This collaboration marries Hindalco's extensive experience in aluminum manufacturing with Metra's cutting-edge knowhow in aluminum extrusion, machining, and welding. The objective is clear: to introduce world-class technology to India, a feat currently limited to Europe, China, Japan, and a select few countries. This alliance positions Hindalco as a key player in the ambitious modernization program of Indian Railways, which boasts the world's largest rail network.
Satish Pai, Managing Director of Hindalco Industries, commented, "We are pleased to join forces with Metra to introduce a new era of aluminum extrusions for passenger trains in India. This is in line with our capability building for aluminum in commercial vehicles, freight wagons, electric vehicles, and passenger train applications. Our combined expertise will undoubtedly enhance the efficiency, durability, and sustainable performance of these trains and set new benchmarks for the Indian rail industry."
Extruded aluminum plays a pivotal role in railway coach manufacturing by offering the dual benefits of reduced weight and enhanced mechanical strength. Metra, a stalwart with 60 years of experience in producing aluminum extrusions for the transport sector, specializes in the fabrication and machining of railway extrusions. This positions the Italian company to provide high-end sub-assemblies for the railways, further bolstering the collaboration's capabilities.
Enrico Zampedri, CEO of Metra SpA, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, "Collaborating with Hindalco Industries presents an exciting opportunity to showcase the capabilities of our aluminum extrusion technology on a global stage. Together, we are poised to redefine aluminum extrusions for high-speed train manufacturing in India, creating a fusion of strong Italian expertise in this field and Indian market knowledge."
Indian Railways is currently undergoing a transformative phase with significant upgrades in rail lines, stations, and the introduction of high-speed air-conditioned carriages. Notably, the Vande Bharat trains, celebrated for their top-end comfort and faster travel, exemplify the future of rail transport in India. These aerodynamic trains, designed to operate at speeds exceeding 200 km per hour, owe their speed and efficiency to the use of aluminum.
Hindalco has earmarked an investment of Rs. 2,000 crore for the production of passenger coaches for the Vande Bharat trains. The technology alliance with Metra will provide the cutting-edge technology required to make this ambitious project a reality.
High-grade aluminum alloy has gained global prominence in the manufacture of high-speed railway coaches, enabling not only aesthetic designs but also greater speeds due to their lightweight nature. Suburban metro systems, high-speed intercity trains, and long-haul rail traffic in Europe, China, and Japan extensively use aluminum railcars.
While the initial costs of aluminum railcars are marginally higher, the long-term benefits, including savings in rail infrastructure and reduced carbon emissions, are substantial. Aluminum significantly enhances energy efficiency by reducing aerodynamic resistance and transmission loss, leading to lower wear and tear on rolling stock.
Last October, Hindalco launched India's first all-aluminum lightweight freight rake, offering higher speeds and greater payload capacity while saving over 14,500 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime. The company plans to introduce three more designs of freight wagons in the coming months, targeting specific commodities such as cement and food grains.
Metra SpA, based in Italy, is a renowned name in the field of aluminum extrusion technology. The company produces high-technology content aluminum extrusions for Railway, Mechanics, Industrial, Automobile, and Architectural applications. The company's state-of-the-art fabrication solutions have consistently set industry standards, making it a trusted partner for innovative projects globally.