Ukraine has signed a 1 billion US dollar framework agreement with General Electric Transportation. The deal, which is the largest ever for GE in the country, includes the supply of 30 GE Evolution Series freight locomotives to Ukrainian Railways, as well as additional locomotive kits over 10 years, the rehabilitation of locomotives in the railway’s legacy fleet, and long-term maintenance services.
“This is a very important day for relations with our partners, the US,” said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
The agreement marks a major milestone in the country’s efforts to modernise its transportation infrastructure and strengthen its position as a key European rail hub and trade corridor. It is also expected to deepen Ukraine’s economic ties with the US. It highlights Kyiv’s efforts to reorientate its economy towards the west after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and a subsequent proxy separatist war.
“After many years of inactivity, this project will launch a large-scale modernisation of Ukrainian Railway’s locomotive fleet. In addition to addressing Ukraine’s needs for greater capacity, this strategic partnership with GE will provide a powerful impetus to further develop domestic manufacturing,” Rafael Santana, president and CEO of GE Transportation, said during the signing ceremony.
“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 the Board of Ukrainian Railways. “After many years of inactivity, this project will launch a large-scale modernisation of Ukrainian Railway’s locomotive fleet. In addition to addressing Ukraine’s needs for greater capacity, this strategic partnership with GE will provide a powerful impetus to further develop domestic manufacturing.”
Locomotive production is planned to commence in the US in early 2018, with the first deliveries slated for this autumn. In addition, certain work will be localised in Ukraine to further bolster job creation and economic development in the country.
The TE33A locomotives feature a 12-cylinder, 4,500-horsepower GE Evolution Series engine, delivering high power output, enhanced productivity, greater flexibility, lower lifecycle costs, and improved reliability in heavy-haul operations. Compared to the legacy Ukrainian fleet, the TE33A can significantly reduce harmful emissions, economise on fuel and oil costs, and increase time between maintenance overhauls.