TOKYO -- Hitachi has received an order valued at about 44.3 billion New Taiwan dollars ($1.44 billion) to deliver about 600 train cars to Taiwan starting in 2021.
The Japanese manufacturer on Tuesday inked the contract with the Taiwan Railways Administration, which manages the island's train network. The deal calls for 50 trains of 12 cars each -- nearly half of the planned fleet overhaul the government announced in 2015.
The rolling stock will be built in Japan, including at a plant in the southwestern prefecture of Yamaguchi, and shipped to Taiwan, where they are slated to begin operating in 2021.
Hitachi entered the Taiwanese railway market in the 1960s. Major projects in the last two decades have included providing a shikansen bullet- train operation system as part of a consortium of Japanese companies in 2007, and supplying electrical substations in 2017.
The company's railway business generated 562.7 billion yen ($5.18 billion) in sales in the year ended March, with Europe accounting for more than half of the total. It targets annual sales growth of more than 10% in Asia, looking to win orders in Southeast Asia and Australia.
Taiwan's railway authority unveiled in 2015 a 10-year plan to buy more than 1,300 new train cars. Related businesses around the world consequently sharpened their focus on Taiwan, and have been marketing their mainstay offerings.
Hitachi's compatriot Toshiba announced on Tuesday an estimated 7 billion to 8 billion yen order for electric systems for 520 train cars on a Taiwan commuter-rail network, with plans to start delivery this year.