Bartholet Maschinenbau AG
ROLAND BARTHOLET: “IT IS INTERESTING FOR US TO BE IN THE RUSSIAN MARKET”
Roland Bartholet, President of Bartholet Maschinenbau AG, talks about work in Moscow and the company's prospects in Russia.
- How did it happen that Bartholet came to Russia, to do business in Moscow? Why is it interesting to you, how many years have you been here?
- We have been present in the Russian market since 2012, in Moscow, we built the cable way at Vorobyovy Gory in 2018. It is interesting for us to be in the Russian market. We are planning to localize our production in the center of Moscow, in the Technopolis Moscow SEZ. This is important, because we plan to build a new project - the Skhodnenskaya to Rechnoy Vokzal cable way - within the next two years.
- Do you think, cable ways can be used everywhere? What does your European experience show? How effective and beneficial are they, are they solving difficulties in transport?
- The cable ways can help to solve any transport problems. The main feature of this mode of transport is the element of autonomy. You can do all the same things with the cable ways as you do in the metro, but the cost of building and operating a cable way is much lower.
- A cable way is more for tourists - that's how we used to think. Can this mode of transport be used in everyday life?
- We do not consider cable ways to be solely a tourist transport. The cable way has a lifespan of up to 25 years. Moreover, it is a unique mode of transport that allows a high level of mobility. We want to prove this at all levels and to show that it is quite suitable for everyday life with high efficiency.
- As for Europe, how often are you involved in this kind of projects? How are the cable ways demanded there?
- In Switzerland for example, it is quite problematic, as there are more developed subways and railways. However in other countries, we build cable ways over land, over water, over residential areas, over industrial zones. Mainly as urban transport.
- Are non-European countries - for example China and the USA - interested in this kind of projects?
- China is. The population is interested in quick getting around the city and saving time. The availability of cable ways helps to improve transport and road accessibility and to reduce traffic jams, etc.
- As for efficiency and profitability, how interested are you in implementing these projects?
- In most of the cases, there is no difference among projects. The average cable way capacity is about 1,600-2,000 people per hour. Thus, we are not inferior to traditional modes of public transport, and are beating them in some cases.
- When you came with the cable way project to the Vorobyovy Gory, did you immediately think that you would be able to localize the equipment production here in the future?
- We did think of that right away. In Russia, particularly in Moscow, there is great potential for this mode of transport. Moreover, an on-site production will enable us to reduce our transportation costs by 50%. And it will allow selling this equipment to the local Russian market and for export as well.
- Who will work in the factory?
- We will train Russian specialists. Our main concern is the transfer of our technology and the Swiss quality.
- Futurologists predict that humanity may move to air transport completely, not just to cable ways. Do you think it's realistic?
- We are safer on the cable ways than on an aircraft. In terms of operation, it is a safer mode of transport. A cable way is not so much dependent on different weather conditions: we don't need good visibility, favorable weather, absence of precipitation, etc. In the future, someone will probably travel by helicopter, but in terms of public transport, cable ways are more promising.
- What potential capacity can the cable way cabins get (8-10 people currently fit there)?
- It’s a peculiarity of cable ways that a small number of people fit in the cabin. It is a kind of autonomous transport, you ride in comfortable conditions from point A to point B. At the same time, you have 5-7 seconds to board, as the cable way does not stop when boarding and disembarking. This time is comfortably enough for 8-10 people. Therefore, it makes no sense to make larger cabins, as this will reduce travel speed passenger comfort and personal space for each of us as well.
- Could you imagine in the beginning of your company's development that your products and your roads would be used so widely in the world and you could see them in different parts of our planet?
- No, that was not the picture I had in mind. My business came to me by inheritance, I continued what my father had been doing. It was a step-by-step way development for our company to become a global industry leader. Today, we have 20+ production companies in Europe and Asia.