UKRAINIAN Railways (UZ) and Ukraine’s Ministry of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure have reached an agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to secure €300m in loan financing to support the procurement of up to 80 electric locomotives.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed during the Ukraine Recovery Conference held this week in Berlin. UZ and the World Bank also confirmed $US 190m of previously announced funding to support the locomotive procurement programme during the event.

The parties have agreed to conduct a pre-investment technical, environmental, social, financial and economic analysis of the project. Tendering for the locomotives is already underway.

“The issue of updating the fleet of locomotives for UZ is critical and urgent,” says UZ board chairman, Mr Yevhen Lyashchenko. “The collaboration of the World Bank and the EBRD is an example of how two of the largest international financial institutions have joined forces to implement such a large-scale project. Obtaining new electric locomotives will significantly increase the efficiency of freight transport.”

In addition to supplying the new locomotives, the winning bidder must ensure that maintenance and warranty repairs take place within Ukraine.

Swiss support

UZ has also confirmed that the Swiss government will provide SFr 10m ($US 11.2m) in grant funding to support the procurement of track fastenings for projects to upgrade railway infrastructure on 230km of lines in 2024-25.

The funding will target projects on the following corridors, which intersect with infrastructure connecting Ukraine with neighbouring countries and the TEN-T network:

  • Kyiv - Zhmerinka - Pidvolochysk - Lviv
  • Zhmerinka - Vapnyarka - Odessa
  • Kyiv - Hrebinka - Krasnograd - Lozova
  • Lviv - Uzhhorod, and
  • Kyiv - Myronivka - Pyatikhatky - Chaplyne.

The funding follows the allocation of a SFr 14m grant by Switzerland for similar rehabilitation projects under an agreement signed in December 2022.

Swiss supplier Schwihag supplied fastenings to rehabilitate 270km of infrastructure on lines including Kyiv - Odessa, Kyiv - Dnipro, Kyiv - Lviv, and Lviv - Uzhhorod.

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