POLAND: Stadler Rail has switched the production of Flirt multiple-units being built for Azerbaijan Railways from its Fanipol plant in Belarus to Siedlce in Poland.
National railway ADY ordered four Flirt DMUs and six EMUs in November 2019. These were due to be assembled at the Fanipol plant near Minsk, which was opened in 2013 to supply countries in the CIS region as well as other markets.
Confirming the move to Railway Gazette, Stadler explained that the decision to move production of the ADY trainsets was ‘connected with the sanctions imposed on Belarus in connection with the war in Ukraine’.
Stadler’s Central Europe Division is headquartered in Warszawa; the company has a production facility at Siedlce to the east of the capital and a service centre in Lódź. The assembly plant was opened in 2007 and currently employs a workforce of almost 800.
Reporting on the situation in Ukraine in March, Stadler said that at that time there had been no disruption to production at its Belarus factory. However, the company was ‘prepared for various scenarios and ready to implement possible immediate measures as part of its risk management’.
Even before the conflict, the Fanipol factory had seen a reduced level of activity; by early 2022 around 300 jobs had been cut from the original workforce of 1 500. The plant provides less than 10% of group-wide production capacity, and less than 2% of Stadler’s SFr18bn order backlog is being processed in Belarus.