Under the turnkey, three-digit-million US dollar contract, Siemens will supply 19 three-unit Avenio trams designed to withstand climatic conditions in the Gulf state and to be equipped with the company's state-of-the-art Sitras hybrid energy storage (HES) system. Trams with hybrid energy storage systems can operate without an overhead contact line and are especially energy-efficient and environment-friendly, consuming up to 30 per cent less energy per year and producing less CO2 emission than vehicles without such systems.
Engineer Saad Al Muhannadi, Qatar Foundation Vice President of Capital Projects and Facilities Management, said: "This agreement provides yet more evidence that Qatar Foundation is helping to spearhead the nation's drive towards environmental sustainability. All of our new constructions are designed with the environment in mind, and this innovative transport scheme further demonstrates this commitment. Ultimately, our aim is to make the Qatar Foundation site a car-free zone and, with the introduction of the new tram system, we are well on our way to achieving this goal."
Siemens, which built the first electric tram for Berlin in 1881, last year entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Qatar Foundation, which focuses on the advancement of Qatar's infrastructure capability and competence, including establishing an innovation center in Qatar Science and Technology Park. As part of the company's commitment to boost its local footprint, Siemens plans to double its workforce in Qatar over the next two years.
"This order is in line with Qatar's 2030 national vision to balance economic growth, social development and environmental protection. The highly-efficient Avenio tram system places Qatar at the forefront of technology in public transportation, not only in the Middle East but globally, and fits well into the country's comprehensive urban development plan," said Martin á Porta, CEO of Siemens WLL, the Qatari unit of Siemens AG.
The Siemens Avenio trams will operate without overhead contact lines and receive electric power at the 25 stations along the 11.5 kilometer-route within Qatar Foundation, a world-class university, research and technology hub. The overhead contact line-free system design allows for highly-efficient operation and maintenance. The trams will be equipped with powerful air conditioning systems and special sun protectors on the roof that will protect the electrical equipment from radiant heat. The low-floor technology and the sophisticated arrangement of double doors for the Avenio platform ensure that passengers can get in and out of the trams in a very short time and thus enable shorter stop times. As part of the contract, Siemens will also supply signaling and communication technology as well as depot equipment, and equip four stations with platform screen doors. The tram system will become operational by the autumn of 2015.
Joerg Scheifler, CEO, Siemens Infrastructure & Cities, Middle East, said: "Siemens' long-standing tram history, which dates back as many as 130 years, means that we are in a unique position to design and supply transportation systems and solutions tailored to our customers' needs, no matter where they are located. This award is yet another milestone for Siemens in its endeavor to be a key driver in Qatar's ongoing and rapid transformation."
"Siemens is setting new standards in tram and light rail technology with its Avenio platform. The low-floor technology and ergonomic design provide a high level of passenger comfort. Its energy storage system for optimizing the energy balance and its operation without overhead contact lines are further aspects that go toward making the Avenio a model system for sustainable, rail-based mass transit as well as the most modern tram in the world," said Hans-Jörg Grundmann, CEO of Siemens Rail Systems.
The contract award comes as Qatar accelerates preparations for the 2022 World Cup, which will see the country developing and upgrading its infrastructure, including in the transportation sector. Qatar, one of the world's fastest growing economies, is forecast to record real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 8.2% in 2012, according to the Washington-based Institute for International Finance (IIF).