Melbourne: More than 50 Victorian SMEs attended a Downer industry briefing today to promote contract opportunities for local businesses on the $2.3 billion High Capacity Metro Trains Project.

Evolution Rail, comprising of Downer, CRRC Changchun and Plenary, is partnering with the State of Victoria on the HCMT project to build Melbourne’s next generation metropolitan train fleet.

In Williamstown today, Downer held a second Meet the Buyer- style industry briefing in partnership with the Industry Capability Network Victoria to highlight potential contract opportunities for local suppliers. More than 200 SMEs attended the first event in Pakenham last week.

“Evolution Rail, comprising of Downer, CRRC Changchun and Plenary, is proud to be partnering with the State of Victoria on the HCMT project to build state-of-the-art, world-class trains that will drive the transformation of Melbourne’s public transport system,” Michael Miller, the Chief Executive Officer, Downer Rail, said.

“Downer and Evolution Rail are working with the Victorian Government to also transform Melbourne’s manufacturing landscape, creating jobs for the future by maximising HCMT local investment in Victoria’s manufacturing industry. Downer’s $16 million investment to upgrade Newport will help ensure these new trains are made right here for Victorians, by Victorians.”

Mr Miller said the train build will achieve 60 per cent local content delivering an invaluable boost to local industry and business. “Maximising work for local business is a key objective of the HCMT procurement process,” he said.

“Downer understands the challenges and opportunities for Victorian manufacturers in the global economy. This is why we are working with SMEs across Victoria to build a robust and sustainable local supply chain capability and promote contract opportunities on the HCMT project.

“The HCMT project is a solid opportunity to lead Downer’s transformation and integration of an innovative supply chain, creating opportunities for key partners to deliver to other critical rail projects across the country.”

Mr Miller said the HCMT project will deliver 1,100 highly-skilled jobs, including more than 100 long-term jobs at the new depot.

Two ICN Gateway pages, one for the fleet and one for the depot, are now live. The pages have been enabled to allow SMEs to submit expressions of interest for HCMT work packages. In addition, the webpages will be used to promote successful contractors and help SMEs seek downstream sub-contracting opportunities.

Visit www.hcmtdepot.icn.org.au and www.hcmtrollingstock.icn.org.au for more information. A fact sheet on the HCMT procurement process can be found here.