KTM aims for 87% growth in cement freight sales


BY HONG BOON HOW  IN PORT KLANG

KTM Bhd is looking at an 87% growth in revenue in its cement freight business next year with the acquisition of new and more powerful locomotives. 

Managing director Mohd Salleh Abdullah said KTM's revenue from the cement freight was around RM20mil a year. 

“Our newly acquired 'Blue Tiger' locomotives will enable higher volume of bulk and high tonnage cargo, especially cement, to be transported at lower cost per unit as a result of economies of scale,” he said at the unloading of KTM's first batch of five such locomotives at Westport wharf in Port Klang yesterday. 

(From left): Transport Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy, Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Berhad chairman Tan Sri Thong Yaw Hong and Westport executive chairman Tan Sri G Gnanalingam at the launching of the Blue Tiger locomotives in Westport.

Cement freight accounts for 20% of KTM's freight business. 

Also present at the unloading ceremony were Transport Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy, KTM chairman Tan Sri Thong Yaw Hong, Kelang Multi Terminal Sdn Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam and GE Malaysia president Stuart L Dean. 

The remaining 15 'Blue Tiger' locomotives will be delivered to KTM in stages from General Electric Transportation System's factory in Kassel, Germany, by December. 

The procurement contract of the 20 locomotives, worth US$64.45mil, was signed between General Electric Transportation System and the Transport Ministry in October 2001 through counter trade of 194,935 tonnes of palm oil products. 

The new locomotive has a power output of 3,300 horsepower. 

It is capable of hauling 2,500 tonnes of trailing load at 120kph, making KTM the operator of the most powerful fleet of locomotives in the region. 

The 'Blue Tiger' is capable of hauling 30 wagons, compared with 16 by the present locomotives in KTM's fleet.  

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