French rail manufacturer Alstom has signed a contract with the national rail company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) to purchase an additional 25% share in the EKZ joint venture.
This agreement will allow Alstom to hold a total of 50% share in the EKZ joint venture between Alstom, Transmashholding and KTZ.
With this development, Alstom will be the main shareholder in this joint venture, in which its partners each hold 25% shares.
Alstom Transport Central Asia managing director Martin Vaujour said: "By increasing Alstom’s share in EKZ, we show our confidence in the attractiveness of Kazakhstan investment environment and we contribute to the development of new expertise and skills locally to address not only Kazakhstan’s needs but also regional ones.
"This major maintenance contract confirms Alstom’s commitment to the modernisation of the rail industry and to the dynamism of Kazakhstan and central Asia with its rolling stock expertise and maintenance activities."
In 2010, EKZ received a €1.3bn contract to supply 295 electric locomotives to the Kazakh railway company. This deal also includes the maintenance of freight and passenger electric locomotives for a period of 25 years.
Alstom said that the Kazakh railway network has almost 20,000km of track and it is the world’s third biggest network using 1,520mm of track gauge.
This joint venture will deliver 295 KZ8A model freight and KZ4AT passenger electric locomotives on the country’s network by 2020.
Recently, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) granted a €121m loan to KTZ, for the purchase of equipment for logistics and infrastructure maintenance.