Azerbaijan Railways (ADY) awarded EKZ, a 75:25 joint venture between Alstom and Transmashholding (TMH), a €288m contract in 2014 to supply 50 type KZ8A 8.8MW electric locomotives. This was subsequently amended in 2015 to comprise 10 Prima AZ4A 3kV dc/25kV ac passenger locomotives and 40 Prima T8 AZ8A 25kV ac freight locomotives.

The order was funded with a €277m loan from a consortium of Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and the French branch of HSBC.  

The Prima T8 AZ8A is based on the KZ8A locomotives currently in service in Kazakhstan and ADY’s specific technical requirements and is compliant with the Euro-Asian Council for Standardisation, Metrology and Certification’s (EASC) GOST standards and specifications.

“This is an important milestone in the project that we are developing together with ADY,” says Mr Guillaume Tritter, managing director of Alstom in Western and Central Asia. “We are enthusiastic about the launch of validation, which will ultimately allow our locomotives to enter commercial service in the country. Alstom is very proud of its strategic partnership with ADY, which aims to develop railway infrastructure and increase of freight transportation capacity in Azerbaijan.”

The two-section Bo-Bo Prima T8 weighs 25 tonnes per axle and is capable of hauling up to 9000 tonnes at up to 120km/h, with installed continuous power of 8.8MW. The AZ8A is designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -25°C to 50°C, requires minimum maintenance and provides high reliability levels and low lifecycle costs through its modular design.

The first T8 locomotive was delivered to ADY in Bilajary, Azerbaijan, on December 19 2018 after being shipped from Astana, Kazakhstan.

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