ALSTOM has signed a cooperation agreement with Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) that will see the partners working on projects including the development of the next generation of KTZ’s electric freight locomotive fleet, the KZ8A(NG).

The agreement was signed by KTZ CEO, Mr Nurlan Sauranbayev, and Mr Andrew DeLeone, president of Alstom in Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, during the recent visit to France of Mr Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the president of Kazakhstan.

Alstom has supplied 90 electric freight and 39 passenger locomotives that are now in service with KTZ, with 160 freight and 80 passenger locomotives currently on order.

Cooperation on the renewal of KTZ’s locomotive fleet and maintenance support will include the next generation of the electric freight fleet, the type KZ8A(NG).

The partners will work to develop low-emission traction technology with a focus on hydrogen and battery-powered rolling stock to cut transport emissions in Kazakhstan.

Alstom and KTZ will also cooperate to increase the capacity and capability of the rail manufacturing supply base in Kazakhstan, with the aim of increasing domestic production.

Over the past 12 years Alstom has developed a strong supplier base with over 340 local partners, and now plans to increase this further.

Alstom currently employs more than 1000 people in Kazakhstan at four service sites and two production plants. Electric locomotives, transformers and bogies are manufactured at the EKZ plant in Astana, while the KEP factory in Almaty produces point machines.

KTZ and Alstom will create a centre of expertise for producing signalling interlocking equipment in Kazakhstan, with a focus on the Ebi Lock 950 product.

“Alstom’s work in Kazakhstan goes beyond addressing the immediate transport needs of the country to support KTZ as they build a strong and sustainable rail industry,” says DeLeone.

“We see a growing future in Kazakhstan, one with increased localisation, a larger and diverse employee base and new export opportunities.”