COMPANY NEWS President Xi Jinping visits CRTE TBM factory 9 May 2014
Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk
President Xi Jinping tours the CRTE TBM factory

President Xi Jinping tours the CRTE TBM factory

The importance of infrastructure expansion, of construction equipment manufacturing, and of creating Chinese brands of quality for the export market was recognised and supported during a visit by China’s President and Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping to the TBM manufacturing factory of the China Railway Engineering Equipment Group in Henan Province in early May.
President Xi praised the independent innovation of the company and said "equipment manufacturing is the backbone of a country's manufacturing industry.” Xi’s comments were reported after touring the CRTE TBM manufacturing halls where various machines were in assembly.
From a broader perspective, Xi said that some “weakness still exist in aspects of China's equipment manufacturing" continuing that China needs to boost investment, enhance research and development to accelerate the development of the sector and gain a say in terms of advanced technology in the world. Through innovation and technological development, he said that the country should push for a transformation from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Created in China’, from ‘China speed’ to ‘China quality’ and from ‘Chinese products’ to ‘Chinese brands’.
First exported CRTE TBMs went to Kuala Lumpur metro

First exported CRTE TBMs went to Kuala Lumpur metro

In taking a lead in this effort, CRTE, the China Railway Tunnelling Equipment division of the CREE Group, has adopted significant strategies and made significant investments. As the manufacturer more than 60 TBMs per year, CRTE claims a 50% share of the EPBM market in China and in 2012, it broke into the export market with supply of two EPBMs to the Kuala Lumpur Klang Valley MRT project in Malaysia. As part of CREE’s international strategy, the machines are being used by the company’s tunnel construction division as a subcontractor to the project’s main contractor.
Another important element of its international strategy was completed in 2013 when CRTE acquired Germany’s WIRTH TBM intellectual property. This was described as a landmark development for the company’s overseas strategy. Ownership of the WIRTH hard rock TBM and shaft boring machine technology will provide CRTE a competitive position in the hard rock TBM business.
Application of the two EPBMs in Kuala Lumpur provides data for the important track record documentation required by international clients and an international sales office established in Hong Kong and run by experienced UK tunnelling engineers spearheads international design discussions and procurement negotiations.

In 2013 CRTE acquired WIRTH TBM design intelligence

The requirement to meet international standards, incorporate main components from leading international suppliers and the demand for quality in manufacture and criteria that CRTE is meeting. What is needed in addition for success are specifications from the clients that are sufficiently broad to encourage competing manufacturers to submit proposals that are compliant.
During President Xi’s tour of China’s central Henan Province, he spoke also of the nation’s current economic health saying that the country should “adapt to new norms” for its economic growth and be “cool-minded” amid slowdown in the “world's second-largest economy”.
"China is still in a significant period of strategic opportunity,” newspapers report him saying. “We must boost our confidence, adapt to the new normal condition based on the characteristics of China's economic growth in the current phase and stay cool-minded."
Data confirms that China’s economy has slowed gradually since the international financial crisis in 2008 with the economy expanding by 7.7% in 2012 and 2013, the slowest pace since 1999, and slowing further to a six-quarter low of 7.4% in the first quarter of 2014. Despite the slowdown, Chinese officials say that the pace is within the government’s annual growth target for this year of about 7.5%.
During the two-day inspection, Xi also visited the inland port in Zhengzhou, which is also one of the terminus cities for land based railway connections with Europe to facilitate cargo transportation. China remains a major driver of the global economy with opportunities for the TBM market emerging rapidly in South America, the Middle East, India and emerging and continually active markets in South East Asia. Sub-Saharan Africa will also have to advance its desperately needed investment in urban, national, and transnational infrastructure
CRTE EPBMs record first breakthroughs on Klang Valley MRTTunnelTalk, December 2013
CRTE of China takes over Wirth TBM businessTunnelTalk, November 2013
Royal visit to tunnelling academyTunnelTalk, February 2012
Prime Minister inaugurates first Kuala Lumpur MRT TBMTunnelTalk, June 2013
Presidential visit to TBM project in GeorgiaTunnelTalk, June 2012
State visit to TBM manufacturing factoryTunnelTalk, February 2012

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