TPK is planning to procure up to 18 of the ac traction locomotives, which will be used on the 914km Kazakhstan – Turkmenistan – Iran Railway, which was completed recently.

The TE33A was developed by GE Transportation from its ES44ACi for the North American market. The locomotives have been built in large numbers for Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) at LKZ's plant in Astana, which opened in 2009 and has capacity to produce up to 100 units per year. LKZ says local content has reached around 34%, with around 1500 components for each locomotive being produced in Kazakhstan.

So far the plant has delivered more than 280 TE33As, including units for customers in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine.

LKZ is a 50:50 joint venture between Kazakhstan Railways and Transmashholding, Russia.