KAZAKHSTAN: Prime Minister Karim Massimov is reported to have opened discussions with the Chairman of Transmash Holding Andri Bokaryov for the Russian rolling stock manufacturer to set up a plant in the Central Asian republic to build 25 kV 50 Hz electric locomotives and passenger coaches.

Estimated to cost around US$150m, the factory is likely to be developed in co-operation with Alstom Transport, which recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work with Transmash and possibly take a 25% stake in the company. The plant would be located near Astana, with a capacity of around 100 coaches and up to 200 locomotives a year.