Ukrzaliznytsia has confirmed its interest in cooperation with China’s CRRC Corporation Limited, the rolling stock manufacturer, the Ukrainian company said on Friday.
According to Board Chairman of Ukrzaliznytsia Yevhen Kravtsov, who is quoted in the report, the company is interested in cooperation with the Chinese manufacturer and is ready to work together to develop mechanisms for such cooperation.
“We have a serious need to update the traction rolling stock, and the Chinese partners offer modern locomotives that can significantly improve the situation with the locomotive fleet and bring Ukrzaliznytsia to a higher level of competitiveness,” he said.
The head of Ukrzaliznytsia recalled: given the tendency to reduce the weight of freight trains, CRRC proposes to supply one-unit 6-axle locomotives, the maintenance of which is 33% cheaper, instead of the usual two-unit 8-axle locomotives.
“Once again I emphasize: the main point of our negotiations will be the purchase price, maintenance, the ability to localize the production of components and spare parts. I am sure that together we will come to a consensus and choose the most favorable conditions for cooperation,” Kravtsov said.
According to the report, Kravtsov took part in negotiations with representatives of CRRC, chaired by Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Vladyslav Krykliy.
JSC Ukrzaliznytsia (Kyiv) will provide regular routes of the Metrans transit train in the territory of Ukraine from China to Slovakia. According to the press service of the company, the first container train from the Chinese city of Xi’an to the Slovak city of Dunajska Streda ran through Ukraine on September 27-29. It is formed of 44 forty-foot containers.
It is preliminarily planned that four pairs of container trains will run from China to Slovakia every month. In October 2019 it is planned to send two trains.
Ukrzaliznytsia notes that Metrans reoriented freight traffic along this route from the Polish territory to Ukraine as the route through Ukraine is shorter by 520 km, which saves the sender’s funds.
As reported, in 2018 Ukrzaliznytsia transported 334,963 containers in twenty-foot equivalent (TEU), which is 13% more than in 2017 (295,479 TEU).
PJSC Ukrzaliznytsia in September 2019 has launched three new container trains for grain transportation running on a fixed schedule from Chornomorsk-Port station (Odesa region) to Balin station (Khmelnytsky region), and from Hnivan station (Vinnytsia region) to Starokostyantynivka station (Khmelnytsky region).
This follows from the report of Ukrzaliznytsia press service as quoting company’s head Yevhen Kravtsov as saying on September 24.
The railway operator has already put 27 container trains, of which 22 are regular ones.
“Now Ukrzaliznytsia operates about 150 grain containers used to transport grain cargo from elevators to seaports. The design of these containers allows to unload grain directly onto the vessel, which significantly speeds up the transportation process, and, therefore, reduces its cost,” the press service quotes Kravtsov.
According to him, in general, from the beginning of 2019, 248,280 containers (TEU) were transported, which is 10% more than over the same period in 2018.
Besides, Kravtsov said that since the beginning of 2019, the company launched extra ten container trains, of which four are international ones.
“Such service allows reducing the turnover of rolling stock more than three times and, as a result, helps to reduce the final cost of cargo transportation by 25%,” Ukrzaliznytsia head said.
JSC Ukrzaliznytsia (Kyiv) has made another payment on eurobonds in the amount of $150 million, head of the company Yevhen Kravtsov said on his Facebook page. He noted that in 2019 the company already paid off 60% of the principal amount ($300 million) on eurobonds raised in 2013. Ukrzaliznytsia intends to repay the remaining $200 million in the next two years.
“This is the second payment this year. We are paying on schedule,” Kravtsov added.
As reported, in March 2019 Ukrzaliznytsia repaid the first part of its $150 million eurobonds and paid coupon income on them, receiving funds for these purposes at Oschadbank and the State Agency of Ukraine for Infrastructure Projects.
The Ministry of Infrastructure intends to regain control over Ukrzaliznytsia, Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Krykliy has told reporters. “I have already initiated this issue to the prime minister. I think we will begin in the near future,” he said.
The minister noted that the necessary changes to the relevant provision on Ukrzaliznytsia are already being prepared and the transfer could take place in the near future.
“If the Ministry of Infrastructure is responsible for the transport strategy and infrastructure, it is logical that the railway as an integral part of this living organism should go back [under the control of the Ministry of Infrastructure],” the expert said.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will finance the modernization of infrastructure of JSC Ukrzaliznytsia via the purchase of eurobonds worth almost $100 million, Ukrzaliznytsia Board Chairman Yevhen Kravtsov wrote on his Facebook page. “Today we signed the framework agreement: the EBRD finances the Ukrzaliznytsia infrastructure project via an additional issue of eurobonds. We received up to $100 million exclusively for infrastructure modernization. Against the background of permanent headline-grabbing tenders for the purchase of anchoring beams, switches this is a signal to the market: tenders will be held in accordance with EBRD rules,” Kravtsov wrote.
He said that the funds raised will go exclusively for the purchase of materials. Ukrzaliznytsia will carry out the work on its own.
The head of Ukrzaliznytsia recalled that over the past two years, the company’s attention has been focused on updating the rolling stock and locomotive fleet.
“Now it is the turn of the railroad track. Firstly, it is safety, secondly, we will increase the throughput, and thirdly, it is a possibility of increasing speed in some sections for both freight and passenger trains, thereby reducing energy-consuming stops,” Kravtsov said.
He also thanked the EBRD and the new Cabinet of Ministers team for helping to implement this agreement.