Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) and Wabtec signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the supply of 150 FLXdriveTM battery-electric shunting locomotives and to provide modernisation work to transform the mainline fleet into NextFuelTM liquid natural gas-powered (LNG) locomotives.
USD 600 million is the value of the agreement marking the largest sustainable technology agreement by the CIS railways, and will further revolutionise KTZ’s mainline and yard operations, while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs.
The FLXdrive shunters will be 100% battery powered with more than 1.5 megawatt hours of energy. These new battery-electric shunting locomotives are a zero-emission solution for KTZ, enabling the company to reduce the fuel cost of its yard operations by approximately USD 75,000 per shunter per year. The FLXdrives also will reduce scheduled maintenance by up to 97% and avoid costly electrification investments.
To support KTZ’s mainline fleet sustainability efforts, Wabtec will provide NextFuel kits to convert the traditional diesel locomotives to LNG. The NextFuel LNG mainline locomotives will increase the operational range of travel by more than two-fold, from 1,300 km to 3,000 km and decrease fuel costs by up to 26%.
Wabtec will build the FLXdrives and convert the locomotives to LNG at the LKZ facility in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan, with production scheduled to begin in 2024.
Wabtec and KTZ also will collaborate on digital solutions for the fleet. The first digital product is Trip Optimizer, providing fuel-efficient operation modes for freight trains to reduce fuel consumption by at least 5%. Pilot testing is planned for the fourth quarter and with successful results it will be deployed on KTZ locomotives.
“This MoU continues to grow our long history of success with Wabtec in modernizing Kazakhstan’s rail industry. Together, we will make our rail operations more environmentally friendly and cost effective. It also strengthens our position as a rail technology leader in the CIS region,” Nurlan Sauranbayev, KTZ’s Chairman of the Management Board, said.