GE Transportation’s $1 billion Ukraine deal

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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GE TE33A locomotive. GE Transportation photo.

GE Transportation has signed a $1 billion framework agreement with Ukrainian Railways for supply of 30 TE33A Evolution Series freight locomotives, additional locomotive kits over 10 years, rehabilitation of locomotives in the railway’s legacy fleet, and long-term maintenance services.

The agreement, the largest ever for GE in the Ukraine, “marks a major milestone in the country’s efforts to modernize its transportation infrastructure and strengthen its position as a key European rail hub and trade corridor,” GE said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (standing, third from left) presided over the signing ceremony alongside GE Transportation President and CEO Rafael Santana (standing, fourth from left). Yevgen Kravtsov, acting Chairman of the Board of Ukrainian Railways, is seated at left. GE Transportation photo.

“The TE33A is a powerful and reliable diesel-electric locomotive designed exclusively for the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) freight market,” GE noted. “The TE33A is derived from the successful Evolution Series locomotive technology, leveraging proven diesel engine technology in use on more than 7,500 units globally. It is equipped with a powerful 12-cylinder GEVO engine capable of delivering 4,562 hp with improved fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The TE33A meets the GOST and UIC IIIa emission standards. Engineered to reduce life-cycle costs, the TE33A locomotive exploits technologically advanced solutions to greatly improve reliability and availability. Finally, the TE33A is suited for operations in the Russian/CIS territory, thanks to an operating window that spans from -60C to +45C. Compared to the legacy Ukrainian fleet, the TE33A can significantly reduce harmful emissions, economize on fuel and oil costs, and increase time between maintenance overhauls.”

Locomotive production is planned to commence in the U.S. in early 2018, with the first deliveries slated for this fall. In addition, certain work “will be localized in Ukraine to further bolster job creation and economic development in the country,” GE said.

“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 modernization of Ukrainian Railway’s 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.”

“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. With this agreement, GE will play a larger role in helping the region improve its rail infrastructure and bring products to market faster and more efficiently. Today’s announcement opens the next chapter in GE’s more than 80-year history of successful cooperation in Ukraine, reaffirming the company’s commitment to help modernize infrastructure, enhance energy security, increase access to high-quality healthcare, and support sustainable development.”

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