Tri Listiyarini | Jakarta Globe, March 02, 2012
GE Transportation, a unit of General Electric, and Kereta Api Indonesia, the state railway operator, signed an agreement on Friday to build a regional locomotive service center here.
The center will serve customers in Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, they said in a statement released in Jakarta.
“GE will work with KAI to improve maintenance practices and specifically address improvements at the Yogyakarta service facility in order to provide maximum availability of GE diesel-electric locomotives in the KAI fleet,” the statement said.
Lorenzo Simonelli, the president and CEO of GE Transportation, said that the US company has had a long partnership with Indonesia.
“The memorandum of understanding will provide reliable locomotive services to the country for decades,” he said in a statement. “We are looking forward to serving our customer KAI and contributing to Indonesia’s sustainable infrastructure growth for many years to come.”
There are about 250 GE locomotives in operation in Indonesia, including some that have been successfully operating for more than 34 years.
The number of train passengers in the country increases every year and the need for safe, reliably maintained locomotives has become increasingly important.
Kereta Api has introduced a number of programs to improve its service, including upgrading its equipment. But observers say more needs to be done if railways are to play a greater role in moving goods and people around the country.
Poor infrastructure, including railways, seaports and airports, has hampered economic growth here.