Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Zagreb Company Altpro Partaking in Impressive Egyptian Project

February the 16th, 2022 - The Zagreb company Altpro has spent time ''conquering'' India over recent years, and now it has entered the Egyptian market with its work on an extremely important motorail transport connection.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the Zagreb company Altpro is currently working on a monorail transport connection between Cairo and two new satellite cities, one of which will become the country's new capital.

Namely, as Tin Viduka, a member of the Management Board of Altpro in charge of sales and marketing, explained, this is one of this company's biggest projects, which they entered into with their long-term global partners - Bombardier and Alstom. Although they aren't currently allowed to talk about the financial aspects of it all due to the confidentiality of the contract, they emphasise that this is a significant and very far-reaching project.

"This project is very important to us because, in addition to entering a new market with great potential, it involves a new technology that we've been developing for a long time now. In this business, we participate with signaling systems for infrastructure that guarantee high reliability and improved security. Our axle counting systems for single-track rails are currently unique in the field of control and detection of non-standard train types. Speed sensors, direction sensors and the position of single-track trains exchange this vital information with other infrastructure subsystems,'' said Viduka, the son of the founder and CEO of the Zagreb company Altpro, Zvonimir Viduka.

The company explained that there are two monorail lines in Egypt, spanning a total length of about a hundred kilometres.

The first of them, spanning 54 kilometres, will connect eastern Cairo with the new administrative capital, currently called the "New Capital City" and should have almost seven million inhabitants living in it, and the second line of 42 kilometres will connect the Cairo suburb of Giza with a new city officially named the "6th of October City ”.

This somewhat unusual name for the city, which already boasts about half a million inhabitants, is actually named in memory of October the 6th, 1973, when the 4th Arab-Israeli War, better known as the Yom Kippur War or the Ramadan War, began. It was an armed conflict fought from the 6th to the 25th of October 1973 between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria.

Egypt stood out during the conflict, as, instead of sending in soldiers and tanks, it put water engineers in the forefront and occupied Suez and the whole of Sinai. 

However, due to unrealistic changes in the plans which almost did succeed in bringing Israel to its knees, the whole campaign collapsed and Israel surrounded and destroyed the Arab forces, coming in tanks in front of Cairo and Damascus, which resulted in US and USSR involvement in the crisis.

However, October the 6th remains a big date and Armed Forces Day in Egypt today. Both lines are expected to open in 2023 and will be able to carry about 45,000 passengers per hour in each direction.

Travel time will be significantly reduced to about 60 minutes for the first line and about 42 minutes for the second. The Cairo Monorail will use 70 fully automated Bombardier INNOVIA Monorail 300 trains, ie ones without a train driver, which will be produced in Derby, England.

Business for the Zagreb company Altpro in Los Angeles

The Zagreb company Altpro's impressive reference list also includes a project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It involves the delivery of a control system for the APM (Automatic People Mover) train used to transport passengers within the airport itself. The delivery currently includes state-of-the-art technology for the management and detection of trains of specific dimensions and requirements.

Although the financial results for last year are not yet known, the company states that 2021 was a record year for them and that they expect double-digit revenue growth compared to the previous record year od pandemic-dominated 2020, when they achieved about 70 million kuna in revenue.

"We have three big projects and a number of smaller ones under our belts, and we expect double digit growth this year as well. Along with India and now Egypt, after a long lull, the Croatian railway market has finally opened up again. A lot is being invested in infrastructure and new railway vehicles. We're mostly engaged in the section of the Krizevci-Koprivnica-Hungarian border railway, and where we're actually a system integrator with consortium partners - we produce, deliver and install the equipment. We expect that this growth of the Croatian market will continue in the next period as well,'' believes Viduka.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Innovative Altpro Braking Equipment on Croatian-made Trains

September the 16th, 2021 - The Croatian company Altpro is engaged in the development and production of signalling and other safety equipment for trains and their accompanying infrastructure. Thanks to the recent signing of contracts between them and Koncar, their equipment is set to be placed on Croatian-made trains.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, Altpro has its headquarters in the City of Zagreb, and as they explained, both contracts they signed with Koncar regard the delivery of their equipment for the automatic train protection system which Koncar develops.

Both contracts relate to the supply of Altpro’s built-in vehicle safety systems (ATP) equipment. The first contract defines the delivery of 21 sets of installed equipment for 21 electric Croatian-made trains which Koncar has built for Croatian Railways (Hrvatske zeljeznice).

Each set of built-in equipment includes a central unit of the RAS8385 IS type, as well as all vehicle peripherals. The second contract defines the delivery of one set of installed equipment for the vehicle for track maintenance, which Koncar also builds.

''This set of built-in equipment includes the central unit of the newly developed ATP device type RAS90, as well as all vehicle peripherals. The new RAS90 is fully developed by Altpro and operates on the I60 principle as well as the PZB90 principle, which is based and developed on the experience gained through long-term use. The RAS90 complies with the latest European (EU) technical and safety requirements,'' they explained from the company headed by Zvonimir Viduka.

They added that the end customers in both cases are Croatian-made trains and Croatian railway companies that have recognised the quality, reliability and other advantages of Altpro's products in the field of railway safety. From this technology company, they emphasised that these two contracts will ensure the stability of Altpro's business in the future and strengthen their company's presence and references across the wider market.

Altpro, which currently employs 180 people, signed a 40m-euro contract with the railways in India late last year, and Viduka commented that the company has been trying to break into the Indian market for as long as fifteen years, and that it is worth around 2.5 billion euros in their industry.

He revealed the recipe for export success, saying that a Croatian product must be innovative and rare in order to be successfully exported. ''The detectors we've developed for monorail trains are unique in the world, they aren't produced by anyone else. So, you need to specialise in something closely and become the best at whatever that something is. This is our philosophy, to be the best in the world in the three niches we deal with,'' Viduka explained, adding that the coronavirus pandemic has brought them some huge problems, especially given the situation in India.

“Our engineers go over there to assemble the products, so they have to go into self-isolation when they return home. That's why we've digitised everything we can and adapted what we can to the maximum. However, at the end of last year, we managed to return to the results we enjoyed back in 2019, which a record year, and by the end of the year we exceeded it, which is an exceptional achievement,'' said the leader of Altpro, Zvonimir Viduka.

He also pointed out that Croatian Government economic and job preservation measures helped to overcome the most difficult period caused by the pandemic and lockdowns.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.