Infrastructure Minister Andrii Pyvovarskyi has held talks with the Bombardier engineering concern (Canada) on the possibility of launching production of railway equipment in Ukraine. Pyvovarskyi announced this to journalists on 21 September, the UNIAN news agency reports.
"I have met with the Bombardier company to discuss the issue of its potential entry into Ukraine," said Pyvovarskyi.
He added that establishment of a joint venture with a Ukrainian company and purchase of an abandoned factory were possibilities. "They are interested in a joint venture or an abandoned factory. Building from scratch is very expensive and takes a long time," the minister said.
He did not specify when the talks were held.
The Ministry of Infrastructure is also trying to persuade Czech manufacturer Skoda to launch production of locomotives in Ukraine. The facilities of the Zaporozhe electric locomotive factory (ZERZ) are being considered for this purpose. The State Railway Administration (Ukrzaliznytsia) is ready to guarantee annual purchases of 35-40 locomotives from this joint venture if it is created.
Upgrade of traction rolling stock is one of the most important problems facing Ukrzaliznytsia, whose fleet of electric and diesel locomotives is reducing annually because of age. On 1 August 2011, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a program for upgrading the traction rolling stock in the period of 2012-2016. The program provided for purchase of 500 new locomotives for UAH 28 billion (USD 3.5 billion at the exchange rate at that time). The main sources of funding for the program were expected to be Russian banks, with which active negotiations were held. However, the government did not manage to implement the program.