BRAZIL: Belgian locomotive manufacturer John Cockerill is to set up an assembly plant in the Novo Cavaleiros district in the city of Macaé in Rio de Janeiro state.

The plant will be used initially to assemble a batch of 12 small diesel-electric locomotives destined for shunting duties at the Ouro Branco mill of steelmaker Gerdau in Minas Gerais. Rated at 700 hp, the locomotives will use many components, including traction motors, that will be sourced locally.

Construction of the plant is expected to start in January 2022, generating around 100 local jobs. The locomotive contract will take up to five years to complete, but in the meantime Cockerill is understood to be seeking opportunities to build rail vehicles at Macaé for export to other South American countries.

  • In a presentation to the mayor of Macaé Welberth Rezende earlier this year, Cockerill said it would study the possibility of operating a light rail service in the city. A light rail scheme that envisaged the conversion of an existing section of main line railway was proposed in 2011, but the idea was dropped a few years later.