Alstom signed today an agreement with the Kazakh national railway company (KTZ) to acquire an additional 25% of KTZ’s stake, thereby bringing its total share to 50%, in the EKZ joint venture (JV). This JV has been awarded a EUR 1.3 billion contract for the maintenance of freight (KZ8A) and passenger (KZ4AT) electric locomotives during 25 years. These agreements were signed by Askar Mamin, KTZ President and Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom Transport President, during the official visit of the French President François Hollande.
After approval by the relevant authorities, Alstom will become the main shareholder in EKZ, KTZ and TMH both holding 25% of the joint venture based in Astana. With Alstom as major shareholder, EKZ scope will be extended to maintenance activities with the creation of a service centre.
“The agreement and the contract signed today show the sustainability of Alstom’s global strategy. By increasing Alstom’s share in EKZ, we show our confidence in the attractiveness of Kazakhstan investment environment and we contribute to the development of new expertise and skills locally to address not only Kazakhstan’s needs but also regional ones. This major maintenance contract confirms Alstom’s commitment to the modernisation of the rail industry and to the dynamism of Kazakhstan and central Asia with its rolling stock expertise and maintenance activities” said Martin Vaujour, Managing Director, Alstom Transport Central Asia.
Kazakhstan is an important hub linking Europe, Middle East, Asia and Russia through the new Silk Way. With almost 20,000 km of tracks, the Kazakh railway network is the world’s third biggest using the 1,520 mm track gauge. Besides wide and winterized rolling stock able to run in temperatures reaching -50°C, this market is characterised by very specific technical standards which require adapted engineering solutions. Alstom entered the Kazakhstan’s railway market in June 2010 together with its Russian partner Transmashholding, by laying the first stone of the EKZ facility.
The plant is working on supplying the electric locomotives ordered by KTZ by 2020. Today, 24 KZ8A locomotives are already in operation on Kazakhstan’s rail lines, and the KZ4AT has passed its first dynamic tests at the speed of 200 km/h. Earlier this year, Azerbaijan Railways awarded a contract to EKZ to deliver 50 additional KZ8A locomotives to Azerbaijan.