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Alstom Transportation, Inc. - May 04, 2009

Joe Quigley
Customer Director
Alstom Transportation Inc.
1 Transit Drive
Hornell, NY 14843

Re: Request for Buy America Waiver – Insulated Gate Bi-Polar Transistor

Dear Mr. Quigley:

I write in response to your April 22, 2009, letter, in which you ask the Federal Transit Administration to grant a Buy America waiver for an Insulated Gate Bi-Polar Transistor manufactured by Alstom Transportation Inc. (Alstom). For the reasons below, I have decided to grant your request.

According to your letter, Alstom is competing for a contract with the Delaware River Port Authority for the overhaul of its fleet of 120 High Speed Line Transit Vehicles. Alstom intends to propose a DC Chopper Propulsion System that utilizes an Insulated Gate Bi-Polar Transistor (IGBT) to create the DC waveform and to control traction power voltage and frequency. You assert that the IGBT is not available from a domestic source.

This is Alstom’s second request for a waiver. By letter dated June 18, 2008, FTA granted Alstom a waiver for the IGBT. That waiver was limited to Alstom’s offer to supply Light Rail Vehicles to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas. Because that waiver was limited to a single procurement, Alstom has made a second request.

Under 49 U.S.C. 5323(j), FTA may not obligate funds for a project unless all iron, steel, and manufactured products used in the project are produced in the United States.[1] FTA may waive this requirement if the materials for which a waiver is requested are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality.[2]

To FTA’s knowledge, there are no domestic manufacturers of the IGBT. In June 2008, FTA engineers confirmed Alston’s assertion that the IGBT is not available from a domestic source and issued Alstom a waiver for the IGBT. FTA published that waiver on its website. Since FTA posted the waiver online, no manufacturer of vehicles or IGBTs has contacted FTA with information to the contrary.

With the above evidence that the IGBT is not manufactured in the United States, I hereby grant a waiver for the IGBT pursuant to 49 CFR 661.7(c). This waiver is good for two years or until such time as a domestic supplier becomes available, whichever occurs first.

If you have any questions, please contact Jayme L. Blakesley at jayme.blakesley@dot.gov or (202) 366-0304.


Scott A. Biehl
Acting Chief Counsel

[1] 49 CFR 661.5(a).

[2] 49 CFR 661.7(c).

Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2016
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