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AKIPRESS.COM - GE Transportation signed two contracts, valued at over $900 million, with Kazakhstan's state-run railroad Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ)—the company's largest international rail customer—as part of its long-term commitment to develop the country's railway infrastructure.
The contracts include the delivery of 300 shunter locomotives and an 18-year service agreement to manage the maintenance and repair of 175 passenger Evolution™ Series locomotives, the Business Wire reported.
Shunters are used in rail yards to assemble trains and make short hauls. The first two shunters are expected to be delivered in 2019, with the remainder to be delivered over the next 10 years.
"We have a long history of successful, effective cooperation with GE Transportation, and we see great potential to further develop our strategic partnership," said Kanat Alpysbayev, Chairman of KTZ. "We selected GE technology to be the primary driver for developing Kazakhstan's rail industry, and together we've introduced joint projects to modernize and service the legacy diesel-electric fleet, as well as produce new freight and passenger Evolution Series locomotives in Astana."
"The agreements, signed during President Nazarbayev's visit to the United States, are aimed at further modernizing our rail fleet and will expand the range of locomotives made in Kazakhstan to better meet the needs of the domestic market, as well as countries in the broader CIS and Baltic region," Alpysbayev added. "In addition, we are currently working on a number of projects under our Digital Railway Program, including deploying GE's Trip Optimizer to improve the efficiency of freight transportation."
The agreements are the latest in a long history of collaboration between GE Transportation and KTZ, which includes: the delivery of more than 400 modernization kits in 1995 that extended the revenue-generating life of KTZ's existing fleet by up to 20 years; the construction of the Evolution Locomotive Assembly plant in Astana in 2006, where more than 300 freight locomotives and 8 passenger locomotives have been built to-date; and long-term service deals in 2009 and 2011 for the modernized and Evolution fleets.
"Our mission is to build economies through innovation and modernization. Since its independence in the early 90s, Kazakhstan has demonstrated great economic progress, and GE Transportation is proud to have been a part of the country's transformation journey from the start," said Rafael Santana, CEO of GE Transportation. "Our new agreements with KTZ reflect our ongoing commitment to partner with Kazakhstan to build a world-class rail industry that serves the region and beyond."