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Rail car maker Astra Vagoane Arad back in Brazil after 20 years

Arad-based rail car maker Astra Vagoane is back in the Brazilian market after a 20-year break, having won in late 2011 a contract worth over 100 ml euros under which it will export 98 passenger cars to the South American country.

'The financial bid and the good repute of Arad-made carriages in Brazil, where Astra returns after 20 years, were decisive in the selection of the Romanian company. I saw some of the cars delivered back then and they are still in operation and look quite well,' president of the Astra group of companies Valer Blidar told Agerpres.

Under the export contract for Brazil, which was won following an international tender, Astra Arad will deliver 1st and 2nd class rail cars, as well as sleeping coaches for inter-regional transport and two post carriages. At the same time, at the request of Brazilian company 'Vale do Rio Doce' - Brazil's largest logistics operator - Astra representatives agreed to a potential increase of the order by 50 pct, under the same financial terms.

On the other hand, Valer Blidar said that in 2010 the company suffered considerable losses. 'We had an important contract in Iran, but at this time it is difficult to unfold, in Libya we placed first in a EUR 500 ml worth of tender, and we have a year-long co-working experience with Egypt, but given the current developments, I don't know when we will be able to resume deliveries to this area,' said the Astra president.

Romania's sole rail car manufacturer, Astra Vagoane Calatori is the main carriage supplier of the Romanian Rail Company. Astra also cooperates with prestigious European companies such as Alstom (France) and Siemens (Germany), delivering carriages and rolling stock components to the Czech Republic and Italy.

At the same time, Astra Vagoane Calatori has also tapped into Mideast and North African countries, running contracts with local companies for the export of rail cars and the transfer of know-how.