KAZAKHSTAN: Polish rolling stock manufacturer Pesa Bydgoszcz signed a letter of intent to establish a tram assembly facility in Pavlodar when a delegation from the city's development agency visited its twin town of Bydgoszcz during April.

An initial two low-floor trams based on Pesa's Twist family adapted to 1 524 mm gauge and to cope with the local climate are to be built in Poland, with 83 supplied in kit form for local assembly from 2014. The city of Pavlodar plans to acquire up to 100 trams in total.

An agreement was also reached for Polish firm Tines to upgrade the city's tram infrastructure. Polish bank BGK would provide finance for the two deals.

Pavlodar's 86 km tram network has a 60% share of the local public transport market, but its infrastructure and fleet of 115 high-floor vehicles are approaching obsolescence

'Opening an assembly line in Pavlodar is economically justified', said Pesa Chairman Tomasz Zaboklicki. 'Shipping our products to Kazakhstan has proven to be uneconomic. A new assembly line will allow us to extend our offer to other regions'.