GE Transportation has signed an agreement with TransMashDiesel and Kazakhstan rail company JSC National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) to build a $90m diesel engine manufacturing plant in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Under the deal, the companies are also planning to establish a joint venture (JV) company to manufacture 400 Evolution Series diesel rail engines a year at the new, 97,000ft² plant.

The engines will also be used in marine and stationary power industries in Russia, Kazakhstan and other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region.

At the new plant, the JV intends to produce, sell, service and provide spare parts for Evolution Series diesel engines.

The new plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2013, while the first diesel engines are scheduled to roll off its assembly plant by early 2014.

GE Transportation president Lorenzo Simonelli said: "We are looking forward to advancing sustainable infrastructure growth in the rail, marine and stationary power industries across the CIS region."

The company is also expecting additional production volume at its Grove City plant in the US, which will supply engine kits for the new facility.

GE has invested $400m over eight years in the Evolution Series diesel electric locomotive, which is equipped with a 12-cylinder diesel engine that produces the same 4,400hp as its 16-cylinder predecessor.

KTZ’s subsidiary JSC Lokomotiv Kurastyru Zauyty (LKZ) currently operates a 460,000ft² locomotive assembly plant in Astana, which is capable of assembling 100 Evolution Series locomotives every year.

In 2012, KTZ is planning to buy 70 GE locomotives and also 64 shunting locomotives.