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Deal to supply 108 subway cars could be completed this month.

Deal to supply 108 subway cars could be completed this month

The Thunder Bay Can Car Works may be called upon in the near future to build 108 self-propelled subway cars for the city of Ankara, Turkey.

The work is part of a $700-million deal for the construction of a rail transit system for the city.

UTDC Inc. of Kingston, the majority shareholder of Can Car, hopes to finalize the deal for the cars before the end of the summer.

UTDC is part of a consortium involved in the negotiations. Other consortium members include Lavalin Industries of Montreal, 49-per-cent shareholder of UTDC, and Turkey-based construction companies Gama and Guris.

Gordon Burkowski, Can Car's manager of industrial relations, said the contract would mean improved job security for 500 people currently working at the plant and the recall of 200 workers who are on long-term layoff.

Burkowski stressed, however, that the recall process would be gradual. Most of the workers would only be recalled after the design stage is complete.

"If we got a notice to proceed in 1991, for example, no car would leave complete until late '93," said Burkowski.

He also stressed that any large-scale hiring of new employees would be unlikely.

UTDC is currently constructing a $20-million station for the Ankara Metro line. The Kizilay Station, located at the end of the line, serves the downtown area and is located at one of the busiest intersections in the city.

Construction of the Kizilay Station began last month and will take between eight and 10 months to complete.

The contract to build the station was awarded in May.

If UTDC succeeds in finalizing the deal for the entire 14-kilometre transportation system, 600 person-years of employment will be created at the Thunder Bay facility, according to Bob Gawley, UTDC's manager of marketing communications.

Gawley stated that Ankara city officials are also considering an expansion of the system to 55 kilometres.

"Ankara envisages a 55-kilometre system, and (UTDC) would be in a good place to continue on with the expansion," he stated.

UTDC has been vying for the contract since it submitted its first bid at the end of 1987. The company began exclusive negotiations with Ankara during the summer of 1988 after submitting five additional bids and beating out four European-based companies.

Gawley is not ruling out delays in finalizing the deal, stating that UTDC "has been disappointed in the past by such things as the war in the Gulf."

Calling the deal unique, Gawley explained that UTDC will not only design and build the system, but will also own it through a consortium for 15 years before it is turned over to the city.

It was less than a year ago that UTDC made what it referred to as its largest breakthrough into the U.S. market.

Company officials predicted that the $51.5-million deal signed with the City of Los Angeles in November would likely generate new business with other U.S. cities.

UTDC is supplying 40 rail cars to Los Angeles and the city has an option to order 20 to 40 additional cars which are being built in Thunder Bay.

PHOTO : The subway vehicles Thunder Bay Can Car Works proposes to build for Ankara, Turkey will be virtually the same as the Toronto Transit Commission cars pictured here.
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Title Annotation:Thunder Bay Can Car Works to build self-propelled subway cars for Ankara, Turkey
Author:McDougall, Douglas
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Aug 1, 1991
Previous Article:Long-term impact of government deficit concerns readers.
Next Article:Ankara deal not affected by Lavalin selling shares.

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