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Saft on Track for Growth in Brazil's Rail Sector With Major Battery contract for CAR's Suburban Electric Trains


Saft MRX battery systems ensure autonomous operation for critical control and safety functions on 10 new suburban EMU trains constructed by CAF for the city of Belo Horizonte in South West Brazil.

Paris, December 4, 2014 - Saft, world leader in the design, development and manufacture of high-tech batteries for industry, has delivered onboard battery systems for 10 new EMU (Electric Multiple Unit) trainsets constructed by CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles S.A.) for suburban passenger services in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte. Two Saft MRX nickel-based battery systems have been installed on each of the four-car trainsets built by CAF for CBTU (Companhia Brasileira de Trens Urbanos) to ensure fully autonomous operation for critical control and safety functions in the event of an interruption to the main power supply.

The Belo Horizonte suburban train project has further extended Saft's penetration into Brazil's fast-growing railway market, aided by its local sales and technical support office that opened in Brazil in 2010, as well as strengthening its global cooperation with CAF, Spain's largest manufacturer of rolling stock.

‘Brazil's railway sector is a particularly important market sector for Saft due to the country's current emphasis on the expansion of its mass transportation network. The successful delivery of this significant project for Belo Horizonte is further confirmation of our capability to meet the specific needs of Brazil's railways in terms of performance, reliability and long life,' says Xavier Delacroix, General Manager of Saft's IBG Division. ‘We are also very pleased to have completed yet another global project in cooperation with CAF, continuing our very effective working relationship.'

Brazil - a growing railway market

Brazil's railway technology market has shown dynamic growth due to two major drivers. First, the increasing volumes of raw materials that need transportation has promoted investments in freight railway lines, mainly by major mining companies. Second, the major sporting events of the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the Olympic Games 2016 have influenced the upgrading of suburban and urban transport systems.

Belo Horizonte, which was a host city for the 2014 World Cup and also a sub-host city for the 2016 Olympics, has an urgent need for new mobility services. Today the city is home to 2.5 million people, and this population boom has caused an immense strain on the city's infrastructure, with high levels of traffic congestion and air pollution. To improve this situation, the city has created a comprehensive urban mobility plan (PlanMob BH) with the aim to increase mass transit's share of passenger journeys to an ambitious 70 percent by 2030.

CAF's Belo Horizonte suburban trains carry 1,300 passengers

A key element in Belo Horizonte's urban mobility plan is CBTU's new suburban trains. In 2012, CAF signed the contract to deliver 10 state-of-the-art bidirectional electric units, with a passenger capacity of 1,300 and designed to facilitate train access for persons with reduced mobility.

Saft MRX batteries provide vital backup power

CAF has fitted each Belo Horizonte trainset with two Saft MRX battery systems to provide vital backup power for critical onboard systems for around 90 minutes if the main power supply is interrupted. The MRX design delivers maximum performance, reliability and low TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) within a low maintenance, compact, lightweight block battery package that shows a major size and volume advantage compared with conventional batteries. Topping-up with water is made fast and simple thanks to the integrated water filling system.

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