Alstom and its Kazakh partner Kamkor (1) - a subsidiary of Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) - inaugurated today a joint manufacturing facility for point machines in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The 50/50 joint venture (JV) KazElectroPrivod (KEP) formed by both partners to manufacture signalling equipment for the Kazakh railways is totally investing around €8 million in the project (2). In 2013, KTZ awarded the JV a €90 million contract for the supply of 10,000 point machines over 10 years.
Thibault Desteract, Senior Vice-President of Alstom Transport in Russia and CIS, said: "By choosing Alstom as a provider of technologies and know how in modern signalling systems, our client KTZ receives a guarantee of the highest quality of our solutions. We are transferring not only the technology, but also competences, making localisation more efficient".
Located on a 2,360 m² surface, the plant is currently employing 40 people. From 2016, the plant will produce up to 1,500 point machines per year with 90 employees at full capacity. While the site was being revamped and equipped, the first batch of 1,420 point machines P80 has been delivered to KTZ from Alstom's site in Bologna, Italy. In August 2014, the plant has started assembling point machines from kits coming from Italy. 160 point machines have so far been assembled and tested in the new site. Today, special CNC (3) machine-tools have been installed and employees have been trained in Italy and Kazakhstan, allowing the start of local production for the main components.
In addition to the manufacturing of point machines, Alstom plans to extend its activities in KEP through the development of a local engineering expertise and to create a signalling competence center to implement signalling solutions in the country. This site is the second to be created by Alstom and KTZ in Kazakhstan (4). Alstom is deeply involved in the industrialization of Kazakhstan, which is a priority of the Kazakh authorities.
With more than 14,000 km of track, the Kazakh railway network is the world's third biggest using the 1,520 mm track gauge and represents a substantial market for modern electric locomotives and signalling equipment.
(1) In charge of rolling stock maintenance
(2) The investment includes: revamping of the building, machine-tools, transfer of technology...
(3) Computer Numerical Controlled
(4) The first one is based in Astana for the production of electric locomotives