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CZ LOKO achieved this significant export success at the beginning of July 2019, when it signed a contract to supply EffiShunter 1600 locomotives with the ArcelorMittal steel group. The four machines will be operated by the Ukrainian plant in Krivoy Rog. The delivery of locomotives is scheduled to take place in the second half of next year and direct financing will be provided by OPT Leasing Ukraine.
“The signing of the contract for the delivery of EffiShunter 1600 locomotives is a direct business success of CZ LOKO. Given the need for modernization and diversification, we feel immense potential on the Ukrainian market,“ said Ľubomír Dlábik, head of the sales team of CZ LOKO, who led the negotiations the whole time.
It thus succeeded in following its success in this country dating back to 2007, when ČME3P-1744 locomotive – modernized in cooperation with the repair plant in Poltava – was delivered to Ukrainian Railways. It was also the very first broad-gauge locomotive ever modernized by CZ LOKO. Promising negotiations with the Ukrainian railways regarding the implementation of serial upgrades were terminated prematurely by the outbreak of the military conflict on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
The worsened relationships between Ukraine and Russia meant that the supply of spare parts from Russia was halted. This, together with their age, had an impact on the technical condition of the locomotives operated not only by the state railways, but also by private operators, including ArcelorMittal. It alone runs 200 locomotives in the largest post-Soviet plant in Krivoy Rog. The iron ore mines remain a part of the large industrial complex, where more than 57,000 people used to be employed at the time of its greatest fame, allowing this primary raw material to be obtained independently of price fluctuations from external suppliers.
“The in-plant rail network plays a strategic role here, not only within the framework of direct supply, but also as part of the manufacturing process itself. Maintaining stable operation is therefore vital to maintaining production. For this reason, ArcelorMittal decided to purchase EffiShunter 1600 locomotives,” added Ľubomír Dlábik.
After having nearly completely restored the shunting locomotive fleet in Lithuania and Latvia through deliveries of modernized ČME3M locomotives and new TEM TMH locomotives, and with the trade relations between Russia and EU countries having gone cold, CZ LOKO has managed to find another outlet for the 1,520 mm track gauge.