Kazakhstan plans diesel locomotive exports to Russia

Kazakhstan, Astana, Dec.13 /. Trend D. Mukhtarov /

A Locomotive assembly plant in Astana and Russian company Transmashholding combined efforts to introduce the plant's production to the Russian market, the managing director of Kazakhstan's Sovereign Wealth Fund 'Samruk-Kazyna' Nurzhan Baidauletov said at a press conference in Astana on Thursday.

"We invited Transmashholding to cooperate in order to ensure the launch of our plant to the large Russian market. They agreed after assessing the prospects," Baidauletov said.

He said a plant for the installation of diesel engines will be built within the locomotive assembly plant which can be used in future for combine production.

"The Transmashholding will come into plant with its own capital and participate in the sale of our diesel locomotives to the Russian market. Today, Yakutia Railways is ready to purchase our locomotives and Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have already purchased two,"the managing director said.

Baidauletov said during the following five to six years, some 80 to 90 out of 100 locomotives which come off the locomotive plant's assembly line, will be used in the Kazakh market to modernise the rolling stock. The rest will be sold outside of Kazakhstan, including in Russia.

"In five or six years after modernisation of our rolling stock we will be able to sell almost half of our production instead of just 10 to 20 locomotives. Russia's demand for locomotives is 10 times higher than ours and their production is not enough to cover their own needs for diesel locomotives. If we need 80 to 90 locomotives, in Russia this figure must be multiplied by 10, "Baidauletov said.

Locomotive assembly plant in Astana with a capacity of 100 locomotives per year was established in 2009 by the American company General Electric (GE) jointly with Kazakhstan's National Railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ). Mainline freight locomotives TE33A of the Evolution series (model ES44ACI) are assembled at the plant.

The new diesel locomotive is a single section six-axle train with a capacity of 3356 kW (4562 hp) with a 12-cylinder four-stroke V-twin diesel engine of the GEVO12 type. It is equipped with a microprocessor control system with electronic fuel injection and an on-board diagnostic system. The maximum speed is120 km/h. Compared to the previous generation of diesel locomotives, these engines reduce harmful air emissions by more than 40 per cent and the cost of fuel and oil by 17 per cent allowing a saving of about 1.1 million litres of diesel during the entire service life of the locomotive.

Manufacturing the frame which allows an 18 per cent increase in the share of the Kazakh side in the assembly units is a key element of the production line. In future, the assembly of diesel and diesel generator compartments will be introduced at the plant which will bring the localisation level of production to 34 per cent.

Development of operator cabs, locomotive bogie frame and spare parts production will be the medium term outcome of further work on the equipment and introduction of new products. At present assembled components are delivered to the factory.

Up till 2014, the locomotive assembly plant in Astana plans to release more than 400 new generation locomotives of the Evolution series of which around a third will be exported.

Earlier, Transmashholding signed a contract for the purchase of 50 per cent of the locomotive assembly plant in Astana, which produces locomotives through the General Electric (GE) licence. After spending about $60 million, Transmashholding is receiving American technology and expanding its presence in the markets of Kazakhstan and other Asian countries.

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