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Azerbaijan to get first French locomotives next year

28 September 2016 12:35 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan to get first French locomotives next year

By Rashid Shirinov

Azerbaijan will receive the first AZ8A freight electric locomotives in summer 2017, Bernard Peille, managing director of the French company Alstom’s South CIS Cluster, told Trend.

The locomotives are manufactured by the company at the production site of the Elektrovoz Kurastyru Zauyty (EKZ) joint venture in Kazakhstan.

Peille said the assembly process of electric locomotives has well advanced.

“We have fully completed the designing stage and started assembling the first locomotive,” he said, adding that two sections are already at the production site. “Assembly of the casing is fully completed, its painting is underway, and the stage of equipment installation is starting as well.”

“Our goal is to complete the assembly of the first locomotive in April-May 2017, and we are moving in accordance with the schedule,” Peille said.

After completion of the locomotive’s assembly, different commissioning tests of equipment will be carried out, he added.

There will be two types of tests: static and dynamic. Static tests will be conducted at the company’s facility in Astana, and the dynamic tests will be carried out at various parts of the railway just before sending the locomotive to Azerbaijan.

The first locomotive is expected to be delivered to Azerbaijan in summer 2017, Peille noted. “The main purpose is to provide the customer with the product by late 2017.” The second electric locomotive will be delivered right after the first one and it is planned to complete the whole process in 2019.

Peille said that the customer will make the payments within the contract in several tranches. Noting that the first payments have already been made, he said he can’t share exact figures, as it is a trade secret.

“The payments are made in accordance with the plan, contractual commitments are fulfilled and there are no problems. We have good relations with Azerbaijan Railways CJSC,” Peille stressed.

The contract to supply 50 locomotives, including 40 freight and 10 passenger locomotives, for Azerbaijan Railways was signed in 2014. The final agreement was inked in May 2015.

The AZ8A electric locomotives with asynchronous traction drive are built specifically for Azerbaijan, and they will be one of the most powerful locomotives in the world. They are capable of hauling up to 9,000 tons at a speed of 120 kilometers per hour. Assembly of the locomotives supplied under this contract is carried out at EKZ joint venture – a production site located in Astana (Kazakhstan).

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Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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