Azerbaijan Railways (ADDY) has selected French train maker Alstom to deliver 50 KZ8A 8,800kW electric freight trains in a deal worth €300m.

The contract was signed in the presence of the French President Francois Hollande and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev. Alstom’s share in the order is worth €150m.

As part of the contract, Alstom may also be required to build a depot, provide technical assistance and maintenance, as well as train ADDY staff. However, these additional terms are subject to negotiation within the next six months.

"The modern KZ8A freight locomotives will help increase the carried amount of raw materials and goods in transportation."

Alstom Russia and CIS senior vice-president Thibault Desteract said: "Azerbaijan is a strategic transit point between Europe and Central Asia. The modern KZ8A freight locomotives will help increase the carried amount of raw materials and goods in transportation."

The KZ8A electric trains are powered by asynchronous traction motors. They can travel at a speed of 120km/h and are capable of hauling up to 9,000t.

According to Alstom, 1,278km of Azerbaijan’s total 2,932km long rail network is 3kV electrified.

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The new contracted trains will be assembled in Alstom’s JV manufacturing site EKZ in Astana, Kazakhstan between 2016 and 2018. EKZ is a joint venture of Alstom, Kazakhstan Railways and Transmashholding, Russia.

Alstom has also signed a memorandum of mutual cooperation with Baku Metropoliten and a final agreement is likely to be signed by both parties in the next two months.

Under the agreement, Alstom seeks to assist Baku Metropoliten in developing modern metro cars for the two lines currently under construction, as well as the gradual replacement of the existing fleet of Baku metro.