Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, Kazakhstan’s state-owned national railway company, joined Alstom and Transmashholding in opening their joint plant for production of electric locomotives in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Attendance at the opening ceremony included Nursultan Nazarbaev, president of Kazakhstan; Askar Mamin, KTZ president; Andrey Bokarev, TMH president; Patrick Kron, Alstom chairman and CEO, and Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom Transport president.
With an area of 27,522 square meters (about 296,244 square feet) and a capacity of up to 100 locomotives per year, the plant is operated by EKZ, a joint venture of KTZ, holding 50 percent of the shares, and Alstom and TMH, each holding 25 percent of the shares.
The plant will start production in January 2013 with the 1.3 billion euro (about US $1.7 billion) order placed by KTZ for 200 freight locomotives and 95 passenger locomotives.
The first KZ8A freight locomotive, manufactured at the Alstom Transport plant in Belfort, France, was delivered to the Astana plant for the ceremony. KZ8A locomotives can haul up to 9,000 tons and can run at 120 kph (around 75 mph). They are now undergoing Russian certification and will be tested in Kazakhstan in January 2013.
Late last month, the Export-Import Bank of the United States announced financing of $425 million for Kazakhstan Temir Zholy for the purchase of 200 GE locomotives to be exported from the United States.