China's Zhuzhou Electric launches supply of electric locomotives to Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, June 8 / Trend D. Azizov /

China's Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Works supplied two locomotives to Uzbekistan within the draft to renew investment project to renovate the fleet of passenger locomotives "Uzbekistan Temir Yollari".

Total cost of project for the supply of 15 high-speed locomotives, is 75.53 million. It is financed by long-term soft loan from China amounting to 70.11 million and shareholders' equity "Uzbekistan Temir Yullari" worth $ 5.42 million.

Loan funds are provided for 20 years, including a five-year grace period, at a rate of two percent per annum.

New equipment will be used on railway lines Samarkand - Khojidavlet and Navoi - Samarkand. The reconstruction was conducted in 2002-2006, as well as on the route Tashkent-Angren. It is expected that all locomotives will be delivered to Uzbekistan by the end of this year.

Exploitation of new high-speed passenger locomotives will increase the maximal speed of 100 - 120 km / h to 160 km / hour, reduce the dwell time of passengers on the road from Tashkent to Samarkand by 30 minutes, electricity consumption by 15 percent.

It is the second contract to supply locomotives to Uzbekistan for the Chinese company. In 2004, the project was completed to renovate the fleet of electric locomotives of Uzbek railroad company worth $39.6 million, which was financed by a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Under this project, China Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Company delivered 12 cargo locomotives and spare parts worth $39 million.

Currently, the total length of railway lines in Uzbekistan is 4,300 km, about 1,000 kilometers of which are electrified. About 66 percent of freight and almost 80 percent of the total export and import cargo fall to railway within the country. About 23.5 percent of the total number of locomotives of the country falls to the share of electric locomotives.

"Uzbekistan Temir Yollari" plans to draw about $1.7 billion of foreign investment in the implementation of 18 projects for construction and modernization of railways and infrastructure, electrification, development of repair bases and rolling stock in accordance with the development program of the railways approved by the leadership.

It is planned to bring the length of electrified railways to 2,000 kilometers for 10 years, increase speed of movement of passenger and freight trains up to 160 and 120 km / h, respectively.

The program will allow increasing turnover in 2013 by 35.1 percent, passenger traffic - by 23.6 percent, exports of services - by 33,2 percent.

In 2009, the volume of freight on the railways of Uzbekistan has increased by  4.5 percent - to 65.7 million tons, official statistics reported. Turnover increased by 3.4 percent - to 24.2 billion ton-kilometers.

The volume of passenger transportation by railway increased by 8.2 percent and hit $14 million, the number of passenger increased by 5.3 percent - up to 2,609 billion passenger-kilometers.

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