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Ukraine received funding for 40 Wabtec diesel locomotives

15 April 2024
Reading time ~ 2 min
The TE33AC locomotives of Ukrainian Railways
The TE33AC locomotives of Ukrainian Railways. Source: Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine
Savenkova Ekaterina, Editorial Contributor to International Projects of ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 2 min
Stolchnev Alexey, Russian Projects Editor, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Ukraine: The Export-Import Bank of the United States has approved a $156.6 mln 15-year loan for the purchase of the rolling stock.

According to its press release, the deal will support 800 Wabtec jobs in Western Pennsylvania, where the Erie-based locomotive plant went on a two-month strike last summer.

Back in 2018, national operator Ukrainian Railways (also known as Ukrzaliznytsia) and GE Transportation (now part of Wabtec), signed a 15-year framework agreement worth EUR 1 bln. The agreement covers the supply of up to 225 new diesel locomotives and the overhaul of 75 existing vehicles and is financed by Ukreximbank, a Ukrainian state-owned bank. To date, 30 3.3MW TE33AC locomotives have been delivered under the firm part of the agreement. The rolling stock has a 10% level of localisation because the final assembly is performed at the facilities of the Krukiv Railway Car Building Works.

At the end of 2019, the parties signed a memorandum of  understanding for the delivery of 40 TE33AC diesel locomotives in addition to the framework agreement. Yevgeny Kravtsov, the then-acting Chairman of the Board of Ukrainian Railways, insisted on the localisation level of 15%. The operator expected to receive the first locomotives in 2020. However, the sources of financing for the purchase were not determined.

In 2020, Vladimir Zhmak, who replaced Evgeny Kravtsov, stated that there was no longer a need to purchase Wabtec diesel locomotives. “Our goal is to switch to electric locomotives, which are much more economical”, he stated during negotiations with Alstom for the supply of 130 electric locomotives. In 2021, the French side approved financing of the purchase for EUR 880 mln. The contract was supposed to be signed in 2022, but the negotiations were terminated due to the conflict in Ukraine.

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