GE Signs Agreement for 150 Shunter Locomotives in Kazakhstan
ERIE, Pa. & ASTANA, Kazakhstan — GE Transportation announced today the next milestone in its long-term commitment to develop the railway infrastructure in the Republic of Kazakhstan by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Kazakhstan’s Joint Stock Company Locomotiv (JSC Locomotiv) and Joint Stock Company Kurastyru Zauty (JSC LKZ) for 150 shunter locomotives.
In contrast to a freight locomotive that hauls heavy loads over great distances, a shunter or switcher is a smaller locomotive used in rail yards to assemble trains and to make short hauls.
GE Transportation, JSC Locomotiv, and JSC LKZ plan to jointly develop shunter diesel-electric locomotives suitable for use in the Republic of Kazakhstan and across the CIS region using a track gauge of 1520 mm. GE Transportation will incorporate its proven AC traction technology in the design of the locomotives. AC technology provides lower life-cycle costs and higher availability than older DC technology.
The first five shunter locomotives would be manufactured at GE Transportation’s Erie, Pennsylvania (USA) plant. After the prototypes are manufactured and validated, the additional shunter locomotives would be assembled at Joint Stock Company Kurastyru Zauty’s plant in Astana, Kazakhstan with kits from GE Transportation. Locomotive delivery is anticipated for 2012.
“The ongoing cooperation between the Republic of Kazakhstan and GE demonstrates that a solid strategic partnership can help fuel both short-term infrastructure improvements as well as long-term economic growth,” said Askar Mamin, President of Kazakhstan’s state-run railroad Kazakhstan Temir Zholy. “Today’s announcement continues to enable Kazakhstan’s critical rail infrastructure to remain modern and efficient in the future. I look forward to continuing the relationship with GE as it helps the Republic of Kazakhstan develop a world-class rail system.”
Added Erlan Idrissov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States: “This framework agreement underlines the important cooperation between the United States of America and the Republic of Kazakhstan for the mutual benefit of both countries and its people.”
GE’s continuing commitment to the Republic of Kazakhstan
The announcement is the latest in a series between GE Transportation and Kazakhstan. Partnership highlights include:
* 1995, GE Transportation started a program to update older Kazakhstan locomotives by supplying more than 400 modernization kits that can extend the revenue-generating life of a locomotive by up to twenty years.
* 2006, Kazakhstan ordered 310 GE Evolution® Series Locomotives.
* 2009, in May GE Transportation announced a 15-year, $500 million service contract to further improve the performance of Kazakhstan’s fleet; in July Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev celebrated the grand opening of the plant that is now producing Evolution Series Locomotives for Kazakhstan and the surrounding region; in December, GE and Kazakhstan celebrated the very first Evolution Series Locomotive assembled in the Kazakhstan plant.
“I am extremely pleased to mark another milestone in GE’s and Kazakhstan’s long and fruitful history of working together,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, President and CEO of GE Transportation. “Since 1995, GE and the Republic of Kazakhstan have collaborated to develop the railway infrastructure in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The current collaboration to design and deliver shunter locomotives specifically designed for the Republic of Kazakhstan and the 1520 mm region is a great example of how globalization has opened up growth opportunities for GE Transportation. We look forward to many more projects together to serve the country’s infrastructure needs.”