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October 27, 2010

Kazakhstan signs locomotive joint venture

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A NEW company called EKZ is to be set up in Kazakhstan to build locomotives. It will be owned 50% by Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ), 25% by Alstom, and 25% by Transmashholding (TMH), Russia. The contract for the joint venture was signed today in Paris by Mr Askar Mamin, chairman of KTZ, Mr Philippe Mellier, president of Alstom Transport, and Mr Andrey Andreev, managing director of TMH in the presence of the presidents of Kazakhstan and France, Nursultan Nazarbaev and Nicholas Sarkozy.
KTZ also confirmed a Euros 1.3 billion order for 295 electric locomotives. Alstom estimates its share of the contract at Euros 800 million. The order is divided into 200 class KZ8A freight locomotives and 95 class KZ4A passenger units. The two-section freight locomotives (pictured) will have a double BoBo wheel arrangement and will be 35m long and weigh 200 tonnes. The 8.8MW units will produce 833kN of tractive effort on starting and will be able to haul 9000-tonne trains up to a maximum speed of 120km/h. The 4.8MW BoBo passenger locomotives will be the first in Kazakhstan to be able to run at 200km/h.
The first locomotives will be built at Alstom's Belfort factory, with the roll-out of the first freight unit scheduled for 2012 followed by the first passenger locomotive two years later. Construction of the new factory in Astana will start within the next few weeks. It should be completed in 2012 and will be fitted out by Alstom and TMH. The factory is expected to reach its design capacity of 50 double locomotives a year by 2016.

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