UKRAINE: A US$1bn framework agreement to support the modernisation of the rail network in 2018-34 was signed by Ukrainian Railways and GE Transportation on February 23.

The largest agreement which GE has signed in Ukraine includes the supply of 30 TE33A Evolution Series diesel freight locomotives from Erie in the USA in 2018-19, to be financed by Ukreximbank. It also covers the modernisation of 75 older diesel locomotives, the provision of long-term maintenance services and the supply from Erie of kits to build up to 195 more TE33A locomotives over 10 years.

‘We’re happy that negotiations with GE progressed very quickly, wrapping up in just five months and leading to an unprecedented agreement’, said Yevgen Kravtsov, Acting Chairman of Ukrainian Railways. ‘After many years of inactivity, this project will launch a large-scale modernisation of Ukrainian Railways’ locomotive fleet. In addition to addressing Ukraine’s needs for greater capacity, this strategic partnership with GE will also provide a powerful impetus to further develop domestic manufacturing’, he said.

GE said locomotive production would commence in the USA in early 2018, with the first deliveries planned for autumn this year. Some work is to be undertaken locally to create jobs and support economic development.

‘This deal demonstrates our expanding global customer base and is a promising step forward in our relationship with Ukrainian Railways, which can serve as a catalyst in attracting international financing and accelerating economic growth in Ukraine’, said Rafael Santana, President & CEO of GE Transportation. ‘We appreciate the continued trust and support of our partners in Ukraine, including the Ministry of Infrastructure, UkraineInvest, the Office of the National Investment Council and Ukreximbank.’