The agreement was signed by Mr Maksat Kabashev, KTZ’s strategy vice-president, and Mr Didier Pfleger, Alstom’s senior vice-president for the Middle East and Africa.

EKZ was set up in 2010 by Alstom with a 25% stake, its Russian partner Transmashholding (TMH) with another 25% and KTZ with 50% following a contract from KTZ to build 200 Prima T8 (KZ8A) freight locomotives and 95 Prima M4 (KZ4A) passenger locomotives.

The new plant was inaugurated in 2012, and in 2016 Alstom acquired half of KTZ’s 50% holding in EKZ.

The freight locomotives have now been assembled at EKZ, and assembly of the passenger locomotives will commence at the beginning of 2018.

• A memorandum of understanding was signed in Astana in mid-December by Mr Kanat Alpysbayev, president of KTZ, and Mr Henri Poupart-Lafarge, chairman and CEO of Alstom, for the Alstom-SOP Kazakhstani joint venture to modernise signalling at 25 stations on the KTZ network.