ASTANA (TCA) — France’s Alstom on December 22 said it signed an agreement with the Kazakhstan national railway company (KTZ) to acquire their 25% stake in the EKZ Joint Venture (JV). After approval by the relevant authorities, Alstom will see its total share brought to 75%. The agreement was signed by Maksat Kabashev, KTZ Strategy VP and Didier Pfleger, Alstom Senior Vice-President for Middle-East and Africa.
Alstom entered Kazakhstan’s railway market in June 2010 together with its Russian partner Transmashholding (TMH), by laying the first stone of the EKZ facility in order to build locomotives for the Kazakh network. The joint company was held by Alstom (25%), TMH (25%) and Kazakh Railways (50%). Alstom, EKZ, TMH and KTZ had signed a contract for the supply of 200 Prima T8 (KZ8A) and 95 Prima M4 (KZ4A) locomotives. The plant was inaugurated in 2012. In 2016, Alstom had acquired another 25% from KTZ. The freight locomotives are now fully assembled at EKZ, the full assembly of passenger locos will start in the beginning of 2018.
“By increasing once again Alstom’s share in EKZ, we show our confidence in the attractiveness of Kazakhstan and we contribute to the development of new expertise and skills locally to address not only Kazakhstan’s needs but also regional ones,“ said Didier Pfleger.
This acquisition reaffirms Alstom commitment to modernizing Kazakhstan railway and follows the signature of a MoU earlier this month in Astana by Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom Chairman and CEO and Mr Kanat Alpysbayev, President of KTZ, for Alstom other local JV KEP for the modernization of the signalling in 25 railway stations around the country.
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 characterized by very specific technical standards which require adapted engineering solutions, the French company said.