All enterprises belonging to the Transmashholding holding company have stopped operation completely or are partially idling. According to a source close to the holding company, they plan to lay off 18% of their workers (9,000 people). The central office of TMX, which employs about 400 people, partially switched to a shorter working week on 1 February, the Vedomosti publication reports.
As reported, Russian Railways intends to purchase 30% fewer locomotives this year than it purchased last year, but it promises to increase purchases in 2016. The company planned to finance locomotive purchases with money from the National Wealth Fund, but the money was not allocated.
On 28 January, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the RUB 100 billion (USD 1.43 billion) that VTB received from the National Wealth Fund at the end of December 2014 as a subordinated deposit for purchase of the Russian Railways’ infrastructure bonds was eventually used to purchase federal bonds on the orders of the Ministry of Finance. Most of that amount – RUB 65.9 billion (USD 946 million) – was supposed to be spent on purchase of locomotives. As a result, Russia’s entire locomotive manufacturing industry may suspend operations.
The Transmashholding holding company consists of 17 companies, 10 of which produce railcars and locomotives. Transmashholding also owns the Luganskteplovoz company in Ukraine. According to sources, Transmashholding’s Tver Carriage Works sill suspends production on 9 February and intends to lay off 20% of its workers (2,000 people) in the coming months. It has a contract for production of only 25 passenger railcars (2% of its capacity) in 2015.
The largest producer of railcars – Uralvagonzavod – is also laying off workers. The Chelyabinsk tractor plant, which was recently added to Transmashholding, has announced that it is laying off 5,000 workers.