Henri Poupart-Lafarge, president of Alstom Transport, unveiled the first electric freight locomotive KZ8A to the Kazakh Railways, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), in the presence of the Mayor of Belfort's city and the President of KTZ. The ceremony was held at Alstom's site in Belfort where KZ8A has been designed and manufactured. It is the first of the 295 locomotives (200 freight and 95 passenger) ordered by KTZ to Alstom and its Russian partner TMH in 2010.
First product of a new range of locomotives dedicated to Kazakhstan market, KZ8A is the most powerful freight locomotives in the world able to haul up to 9,000 tons and run at 120 kph. It can operate in extreme weather conditions with temperatures ranging from -50 C to +50 C. This locomotive offers drivers comfort over long distance through its large cabin equipped with microwave, fridge, floor heating, comfortable heated seats and foot rests. The KZ8A locomotive is now under Russian certification and will enter into dynamic tests in Kazakhstan in January 2013.
Alstom is pleased to participate to ambitious Kazakhstan projects in railways by supplying a next-generation locomotive." said Poupart-Lafarge. "This technologically advanced product is the result of a solid relationship of trust between Alstom's and KTZ's project teams over the past two years" added Bernard Gonnet, Alstom Transport's senior vice president in charge of Russia and CIS.
While the first 10 pre-series of KZ8A locomotives are being manufactured at Alstom's Belfort facility, the remaining will be built in Astana, the new Alstom plant in Kazakhstan. This site for which the first stone was placed on June 26, 2010, will be inaugurated on December 12, 2012. Shortly after, the site will be able to start the production with a capacity of up to 80 locomotives per year.
This contract will result in the creation of 650 qualified jobs in Kazakhstan. In France, more than 120 employees from Alstom's Belfort manufacturing plant have been assigned to the project for a five-year period. Around 100 employees from other Alstom sites (Le Creusot, Ornans, Tarbes and Villeurbanne in France, and Charleroi in Belgium) contribute also to the project. The execution of this contract has also an impact on employment for suppliers — one job at Alstom creates some three jobs for its suppliers.