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April 15, 2009

Saft wins first major battery systems order for a Siemens Mobility project in China

Saft MATRICS MRX rail batteries, designed specifically for power backup applications, will deliver maximum performance, reliability and low TCO for new Shanghai Metro Line 11 trains

Saft, the world specialist in the design and manufacture of high-tech batteries for industry, has won its first major battery systems order for a Siemens Mobility project based in China. In a four-year contract, Saft will supply a consortium of Siemens Mobility and its Chinese partner, CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive (ZELC), with the onboard batteries for 58 new trains currently under construction for the Shanghai Metro Line 11.

The new Shanghai Metro Line 11 trains, which can reach maximum speeds of 100 km/h, will enter service in 2010 on the north section of the line, which is just under 60 km long. Two Saft battery systems, each comprising 80 MRX160 cells will be installed on each six-carriage trainset.

The battery systems, based on Saft’s specialised MATRICS MRX nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) rail batteries, will provide reliable backup power to support emergency lighting, air conditioning, door operation and communication systems for the Metro trains in the event of an interruption to the main power supply. They will be assembled locally at Saft’s Zhuhai facility.

Olivier Amiel, General Manager of Saft in China, said: “This order for the Shanghai Metro Line 11 is a significant development for Saft since it is the first time that our advanced rail battery technology has been selected by Siemens Mobility for a project in China. Following a recent major contract for Shanghai Metro Line 10 as well other current orders for metros in Beijing and Nanjing, it shows that Saft continues to emerge strongly within the Chinese market as a key battery supplier for prestige railway projects.

MRX batteries

Saft MATRICS MRX batteries are the ideal choice for this type of metro application as they have been purpose-designed to deliver maximum performance, reliability and low TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). They provide the low maintenance and long service life benefits of sintered/PBE technology within a slim, light-weight block battery package that shows a major size and volume advantage compared with conventional batteries.

The MATRICS MRX design is extremely reliable and does not suffer from the ‘sudden death’ which can affect some batteries, even in extreme temperatures ranging from -30° to +70°C.

Background on the Shanghai Metro

Operated by the Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, the Shanghai Metro opened in 1995. Since then, it has become one of the most modern and fastest-growing rapid transit systems in the world. Today, there are eight metro lines, 162 stations and 225 km of track in operation, making it the longest network in China. Daily ridership averaged 2.19 million in 2007 and set a record of 3.82 million on April 30, 2008. By the end of 2010, with new lines coming into service, the Metro will reach over 500 km.