Nottingham tram to be built in Catalonia

The Alstom factory in Barcelona will build the 22 new tram cars that will serve the English city of Nottingham. This order completely guarantees the viability plan for 2012 and 2013, as the factory will be working at full capacity for the next 2 years. However, the French multinational has warned about the fact that no new orders have been placed in Spain since 2009. This has forced Alstom’s factory to focus on exports and has been building underground trains for Santo Domingo, Lima, Panama, London, Washington and Rabat.

CNA / Lluís Vilaró

March 14, 2012 08:33 PM

Santa Perpètua de Mogoda (ACN).- The new tramway that will circulate along the streets of Nottingham in 2014 will be built by Alstom at its Catalan factory. The French multinational has an important production centre in Santa Perpètua de la Mogoda, which is located in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area,. Alstom made the announcement on Thursday. The company will build 22 trams for the English city of the same model that circulates in Barcelona. This new order will raise Alstom’s turnover by €250 million. The company had previously identified this financial need in order to ensure its viability plan, which provoked the structured layoff of 200 employees and will be implemented until March 2013. Over the last number of years, the Barcelona plant has mainly focused on exports due to the fact that there have been no new orders in Spain since 2009.

The construction of Nottingham’s tramway cars means that the Santa Perpètua de Mogada plant will be at full capacity for the next 2 years, with 600 workers employed. In 2012, the Catalan factory will finish and send the metro cars of three underground systems in Latin America: Santo Domingo, Lima and Panama. In the last few years, metro trains for London, Washington and Rabat, among others, have been built in Catalonia.

The tram model circulating across Nottingham is a ‘Citadis’. Each of the 22 cars will be 32.6 metres long, will have 57 seats and will be able to transport up to 200 passengers in rush hour.

Alstom España’s CEO, Antonio Moreno, explained that the sector is suffering “a rampant crisis” in Spain. The last order in the country came in 2009, placed by the Catalan Public Railway Company ‘Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat’ (FGC). Since then, they have mainly been building trains for the foreign market. In fact, today 90% of production is due to be exported.

According to Moreno, this forced the company to re-direct its activity to exports, which led to the draft of a viability plan and the structured mass lay off of 200 employees in its Sant Perpètua de Mogoda factory. The plan will run until March 2013. 126 workers were offered an early retirement package while the rest were voluntary redundancies.

The Director of the Catalan Factory, Joan Forcada, explained that Nottingham’s order means that the company will reach the €250 million in annual sales that were foreseen in the viability plan. Forcada pointed out that “this is the equilibrium point”. He also reminded that before the economic crisis, Alstom’s factory in Catalonia had a turnover of some € 450 million.