The engines, which are the most powerful MTU locomotives currently operating with an output of 3,300 kilowatts each, are to be installed in new freight locomotives for South African operator Transnet Freight Rail.
CNR is scheduled to receive the engines between 2015 and 2017. The MTU brand is part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, which is headquartered in Germany and sits within the land and sea division of Rolls-Royce.
As part of the newly signed contract, the first 20 engines are to be produced in Germany and delivered directly to CNR, while the remaining engines will be delivered to subsidiary MTU South Africa for final assembly, testing and preparation. MTU South Africa is planning additional assembly capacity to carry out this extra activity.
Dr Ulrich Dohle, chief executive at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “We are proud to be supplying MTU’s most powerful locomotive engine for one of the largest transport infrastructure projects in South Africa.”
Dr Michael Haidinger, chief scientific officer at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, added: “Winning this order signals our breakthrough into the market for Chinese freight locomotives, which are being exported in ever larger quantities.”
According to Rolls-Royce, the “major order” for the 232 MTU engines is part of one of the largest infrastructure measures in South Africa’s history which will see state-owned freight and logistics company Transnet Freight Rail modernising its fleet of freight locomotives.