The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has agreed to provide a new 12-year loan to Latvia's state-owned railway infrastructure manager VAS Latvijas Dzelzcelš for the ongoing modernisation of its 2M62UM locomotives.
The €22.8m funding will be used to replace engines, electric power systems and practically all parts above the wheels of the 14 locomotives.
NIB president and CEO Henrik Normann said: “Railway is the most important transport mode for freight in Latvia, which is one of the principle corridors for transit between the EU and Russia.
“The technological upgrade financed by this loan will let the company increase the productivity of its services and improve its environmental performance.”
The modernisation project will be fully compliant with the Euro III A standard and is expected to extend the locomotives' operating lifecycle by roughly 30 years.
It will also improve the technical capacity of the upgraded locomotives by 50% and reduce fuel consumption by 17%, marking a reduction of nearly 15,000t of carbon dioxide per year.
Latvijas Dzelzcelš vice-president Aivars Strakšas said: “The modernisation of diesel locomotives that started in 2015 is one of the most important projects for the Latvijas Dzelzcelš Group of companies.
“It allows us to improve the rolling stock by increasing its capacity and economic performance, as well as decrease its negative impact on the environment.”
The modernisation programme will be carried out by Latvijas Dzelzcelš’s subsidiary company LDz Ritoša sastava serviss and is expected to continue until next year.
Image: NIB finances locomotive modernisation in Latvia. Photo: courtesy of VAS / Latvijas dzelzcelš.