Stadler intends to expand production in Belarus

Stadler intends to expand production in Belarus

New projects and continued cooperation. The Belarus President met with the head of the Swiss company Stadler Rail Group. This is one of the world leaders in the manufacture of electric transport. In Belarus, it has a facility in Fanipol. Now it has received a new order for the Norwegian State Railways, plans to assemble tramways for the city of St. Petersburg. The company finds a way out of a seemingly difficult economic situation. Besides, all that is done in Fanipol is a purely Belarusian product. Cooperation with domestic producers is one of the project priorities.

Over the four years of work in Fanipol, the Swiss company Stadler has not become disappointed in Belarus. Despite the difficult economic conditions worldwide, the European brand producing electric trains and cars is going to expand in Belarus. Company owner Peter Spuhler today met with Belarus President, Alexander Lukashenko.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
You have created nearly 500 very high-end jobs, you innovate the economy and are in trend, as it is fashionable to say today. These are our tasks we will address in the next five years. In this sense, you should be sure that we are ready to work with you and fulfill all your suggestions. Of course, when you work, there are new issues, possibly new interests. I am familiar with your proposals on the expansion of production in Belarus. Let's discuss the whole range of issues.

The plant can produce 120 cars per year. But only 30-40% of the plant are used now. The collapse in oil and gas prices, plus trade sanctions against Russian have slowed down development of the project. Russian customers had to cut orders. However, part of it has already been sold to Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Philipp Brunner, Director of Stadler Minsk:
For our future projects here in Belarus we are offering the most advanced technologies. For example, we offer options for the subway. For example, automatic driving, without a driver.  

Peter Spuhler is confident in the future of the Belarusian division. The demand for the renewal of railway fleet in neighboring countries will continue to grow.

Peter Spuhler, CEO of the company Stadler Rail Group (Switzerland):
I think you know, Mr President, that the economic situation in the region is quite difficult.  It was reflected on the level of employment at the Fanipol enterprise. Today, the problem is almost resolved, we have showed our own initiative and moved here some orders for Western Europe. This product is for the Norwegian State Railways. Fanipol will also fully carry out the order for the assembly of streetcars for the city of St. Petersburg

At the meeting, the sides discussed the desire of the investor to expand production and the number of orders in Belarus. Perhaps the capacities of Strommashina will be involved. The possibility of the production of subway cars is under consideration. Stadler has similar projects in Glasgow and Berlin.

In addition to high technology and comfort, the company offers favorable terms. So it is likely that the Swiss brand will participate in the tender for the production of trains for the third line of the Minsk metro.

Peter Spuhler, CEO of Stadler Rail Group (Switzerland):
We are ready to continue cooperation with Belkommunmash as our cooperative partner, purchasing components, enterprise units for the Fanipol production site. We also have a favorable financing offer from Switzerland. It includes insurance of export risks. And I want to emphasize that what we assemble in Fanipol is a completely Belarusian product.

The example of Stadler illustrates the fact that the European business is now reconsidering its attitude towards Belarus. Through the republic one can get out to the whole Eurasian Economic Union space. Russia is now modernizing its railway infrastructure. And it is almost 90,000 kilometers of railways and 20,000 locomotives - a huge market.

The Swiss company intends to continue investing in the Fanipol plant. In particular, it is going to spend about 5 million euros for the creation of mechanical processing of aluminum shapes.