Kazakhstan’s national railway soon will be running with more modern locomotives thanks to a US$33.1mn loan guarantee from US Ex-Im Bank. The Ex-Im guarantee supports the export by General Electric Co Inc of 54 locomotive modernisation kits toKazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), Kazakhstan’s state-owned national railway. Sub-suppliers in at least nine US states also are participating in the export sale.

KTZ will use the kits to refurbish 27 of its model TE-10 locomotives, extending their life by 15-20 years. KTZ is modernising its railways to meet the increased demand for freight and passenger traffic created by economic development.

“This is Ex-Im Bank’s first transaction with KTZ, and the first time that Ex-Im has provided financing for a non-bank, government-owned company in Kazakhstan without a sovereign guarantee,” says Ex-Im Bank first vice-president and vice-chair April Foley.

The guaranteed lender on the transaction is ABN Amro Bank, Chicago. KTZ is the primary source of repayment.