The General Electric corporation (GE) expects to modernize about 50 Ukrainian locomotives per year if funding is available.
It will be about "50-60 units per year," Adem Saglik, the marketing director at GE Transportation, said during the signing ceremony of a memorandum of cooperation with the Ukrzaliznytsia public railway company in Kyiv on Thursday, 21 July.
According to him, Ukrzaliznytsia has said that 200-300 locomotives require modernization, but exact calculations of the cost are not yet available. In the long-term, GE expects to modernize and replace 500 locomotives.
Saglik also said that GE Transportation planned to sell diesel locomotives to Ukraine. During the signing ceremony of the memorandum with the company, Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelian said that GE was selected because it is "the number one company in the world in production of diesel locomotives."
As reported, on 14 July Ukrzaliznytsia and General Electric signed an agreement on testing a locomotive manufactured by the American company on Ukrainian railways. The locomotive is due to arrive in Ukraine by the end of this month.
Regarding creation of a joint venture, which was also discussed with GE, it is unclear what location will be selected. In was reported in autumn 2015 that Germany intended to finance modernization of Ukrainian locomotives at the Dnipropetrovsk diesel locomotive plant. However, in this case, it is logical to assume that a partnership will be formed with a German company – Siemens and Bombardier Transportation (headquartered in Berlin but part of a Canadian holding company). Ukrzaliznytsia recently signed a memorandum with Bombardier.
However, representatives of Bombardier traveled to Lviv at the end of last year to explore the capabilities of the local locomotive repair plant. The South Korean railway manufacturer, Hyundai, has also showed an interest in the Lviv region.
In addition, the Zaporizhia electric locomotive plant has been named in recent years as one of the most promising sites for a joint venture with a foreign partner. The Skoda company has also looked at this plant.