Alstom increases stake in Kazakh JV and prepares to ramp up operations in Astana

Alstom increases stake in Kazakh JV: France’s electricity and rail multinational Alstom  last week agreed to buy a further 25% stake in EKZ, the locomotive production joint venture it co-owns with Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) and Russia’s Transmashholding. The move takes its shareholding in the JV up to  50%, with KTZ and Transmashholding retaining 25%. “By increasing Alstom’s share in EKZ, we show our confidence in the attractiveness of the Kazakhstan investment environment as we contribute to the development of new expertise and skills locally to address not only Kazakhstan’s needs but also those of the region,” said Martin Vaujour, managing director of Alstom Transport Central Asia. He added that by purchasing the additional stake, Alstom was confirming its commitment to the modernisation of Kazakhstan’s railway industry. EKZ is already assembling locomotives for the CIS market, and plans next year  to move all production operations to Astana from Alstom’s Belfort facility in north-east France as it continues to work on a $1.3 billion contract for 295 locomotives that is due to be completed by 2020. Twenty-four KZ8A electric locomotives are already in operation in Kazakhstan. Astana Times