KTZ, Alstom and Transmashholding Start New Locomotive Factory in Astana
The Kazakh railways (KTZ), Alstom and Transmashholding (TMH) inaugurated on 4 December their joint new plant for the production of electric locomotives in Astana (Kazakhstan). The ceremony was held in the presence of the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan NazarbaYev, KTZ President Askar Mamin, TMH President Andrey Bokarev, Alstom Chairman and CEO Patrick Kron as well as Alstom Transport President Henri Poupart-Lafarge.
The plant is operated by EKZ, a joint venture held by KTZ (50% of the shares), Alstom and TMH (25% of the shares respectively). It represents an investment of around 50 million. In June 2010, Alstom and its partners had announced their decision to invest in a manufacturing unit to address the renewal of the railway fleet of Kazakhstan.
With a total surface area of 27,000 square metres and a capacity of up to 100 sections per year, the plant matches the best standards of the industry. The number of employees will grow from 50 employees today to 650 people by the end of 2016.
Production at EKZ will start in January 2013 with the €1.3 billion order placed by KTZ in 2010 for 200 freight locomotives (KZ8A) and 95 passenger locomotives (KZ4AT). EKZ ambition is to expend its activities to the railway transport markets in neighboring countries.
The 10 pre-series locomotives are being produced in Alstom’s manufacturing facility in Belfort. As part of the program for transferring skills, EKZ employees will undergo a training program in Belfort and at TMH’s production premises in Novocherkassk, Russia
“Wehavebeen closely followingthe industrial policy implemented in Kazakhstan”, said Andrey Bokarev. “We regard President NazarbaYev’s commitment to create a national industrial base as a wise strategic step. It’s an honor for TMH to be chosen by the Kazakhstan government as a technology partner. I would like to assure the government and the people of Kazakhstan that our specialists will do their best to help the Republic create its own local full-scale production of rolling stock”.
“With this plant, which is a tangible result of our recent partnership with KTZ, Alstom has established a strong footprint in Kazakhstan”, said Patrick Kron. “It is our first joint international project with TMH and I am positive that it is a milestone on the way to future development of the partnership and new projects in a promising dynamic market”.
The first KZ8A freight locomotive, manufactured at the Alstom Transport plant in Belfort, France, was delivered to the Astana plant for the ceremony. KZ8A is one of the most powerful freight locomotives in the world, capable of hauling up to 9,000 tons and running at 120 kph. It can operate in extreme weather conditions with temperatures ranging from -50°C to +50°C. This locomotive offers drivers comfort over long distances with its large cabin equipped with a microwave, refrigerator, floor heating, comfortable heated seats and foot rests. The KZ8A locomotive is now undergoing Russian certification and will enter into dynamic tests in Kazakhstan in January 2013.
Both the KZ8A and the KZ4A locomotives incorporate Alstom technology, such as the traction system, as well as number of other components manufactured by Alstom and TMH in Russia.
Source : TMH Press Centre