RITES Ltd has started leasing locomotives to construction major L&T, which uses them to haul material for building the dedicated rail freight corridor. RITES, the only player in the wet leasing space, offers train engines with drivers and maintenance.
RITES, a government-owned publicly listed consultancy company with expertise in transport and engineering space, has supplied almost 50 locomotives to various customers. These are provided on long-term lease with the contract reviewed every two years.
Besides L&T, its customers include the port trusts of Dhamra, Paradip and Visakhapatnam, and power and steel plants.
“We are the the only player providing high horse power (HP) locomotives on wet leasing, that is providing engines to customers with drivers and maintenance. All are diesel locomotives of 2,300 HP or 1,350 HP. The use them for shunting purposes,” Rajeev Mehrotra, CMD, RITES Ltd, told BusinessLine.
“Forty-six locomotives are already running, three more will be added soon, and some more orders are being placed. We have around 20 customers. These are long-term contracts, which are normally entered into for two years and renewed,” said Mehrotra, adding that L&T is also using leased the locomotives for construction of the Western Freight Corridor.
Exports to Sri Lanka
RITES will use the Chennai Port to ship the trial order of a locomotive and a set of diesel multiple unit (DMU) coaches to Sri Lanka. These are exports, not on lease.
“The first train engine of 3,000 HP, which is a prototype as per customer requirement, was shipped from Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi, about ten days back.
“The Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, also delivered one diesel multiple unit trainset of 13 coaches earlier this week,” said Mehrotra. The engine was taken from Varanasi to Chennai travelled on a truck by road.
“RITES’ order book includes ten locomotives, six DMUs and 160 AC and non-AC coaches to Sri Lanka over the next two years. These exports are against a line-of-credit from India to Sri Lanka,” he added.
“Rupee depreciation will have a positive impact on our revenues, as exports are done in US dollar terms and most of the purchases are done at fixed rupee price,” he said.