Alstom-KTZ extend locomotive supply partnership to tackle shortages

Image: Alstom

Alstom and Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) expanded their existing partnership with an agreement foreseeing the supply of 160 KZ8A electric locomotives by the first to the latter. For KTZ, this agreement is pivotal since it could “resolve the issue of the existing shortage of electric locomotives and create opportunities to provide quality services to Kazakh shippers.”

The agreement will be in effect between 2023-2029. Within this timeframe, Alstom is expected to deliver 245 electric locomotives to KTZ, some of which will also be destined for passenger services. Out of the 245 locomotives, 160 next-generation KZ8A models will be used for freight transport. The most important fact about them is that they will be produced in Alstom’s plants in Kazakhstan, also boosting what the French company calls the “localisation” of locomotive production.

Long partnership and localisation

Alstom and KTZ are familiar with each other. The French locomotive manufacturing company has been active in the Kazakh market for twelve years. KTZ’s first order for Alstom locomotives was placed back in 2010. To date, the Kazakh state-owned railway company operates 90 freight and 39 passenger locomotives supplied by Alstom. Moreover, the French company developed the KZ8A electric freight locomotive specifically for the needs of the Kazakh rail freight industry, operating in broad gauge (1520mm).

On top of that, Alstom has established locomotive manufacturing plants in Kazakhstan. The two industrial locations are “EKZ in Astana for freight and passenger electric locomotives and the production of onboard transformers and bogies. The second is KEP in Almaty to produce point machines to serve the rail network in the country,” explained the company.

Alstom’s KZ8A locomotive already used by Kazakhstan Railways. Image: Wikimedia Commons. © motowoz.

“Alstom’s work in Kazakhstan goes beyond addressing the immediate transportation needs of the country to support KTZ as they build a strong and sustainable rail industry. We see a growing future in Kazakhstan, with increased localisation, a larger and more diverse employee base and new export opportunities,” said Andrew DeLeone, President of Alstom in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

By mentioning localisation, DeLeone stressed the importance of building locomotives destined for the Kazakh market domestically – an endeavour boosting the local economy, tailoring solutions to local needs, and creating opportunities for exports in nearby markets.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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