The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the EU have jointly financed Moldova’s acquisition of 12 diesel locomotives.

The new modern diesel locomotives were purchased by state-owned railway company Calea Ferată din Moldova (CFM) and arrived at Chisinau on 14 July.

The rolling stock is expected to boost the country’s trade.

The engines are said to use less energy compared with the existing trains and will offer an improved mode of transport for goods and passengers.

GE Transportation manufactured the new rolling stock in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. The company won the bid after a tender was launched in 2018 by CFM in accordance with the procurement policies and rules of EBRD.

The Moldovan Parliament is expected to adopt a new Railway Code to bring the sector in accordance with the Association Agreement with the EU.

The cost of the project is €110m for which the EU’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) provided a €5m investment grant.

The remaining cost was financed by EBRD and EIB loans.

CFM director-general Adrian Onceanu said: “Thanks to the locomotives’ more powerful diesel engines, fewer operations will be needed. This will improve transport efficiency and reduce operating costs.

“The improved technical characteristics of the new diesel rolling stock will increase the interval between the scheduled maintenance to 92 days from 48hrs, significantly reducing the maintenance costs. They will also help reduce the consumption of diesel fuel by 15%-20% and oil by 35%-40%, resulting in significant savings.”