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UWC and Zimbabwe sign agreement

(Posted on 18/11/19)

Research and Production Corporation “United Wagon Company”, Russia’s largest manufacturer of freight cars , and the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) have signed an agreement for the supply of freight cars intended for operation on the 1067-mm gauge track. By striking the deal, in addition to an earlier supply of 114 hopper cars to the Republic of Guinea, the Holding has further expanded its presence in the African market.

The agreement with the National Railways of Zimbabwe provides for the supply of 100 gondola cars with solid bottoms. The railcars will be delivered not later than 12 months after the NRZ acquires a respective export loan through the assistance of UWC. The gondola cars are planned to be used for cross-border shipments of coals, chrome ore and grains in big-bags.

The solid bottom gondola car will be designed by UWC’s own R&D Centre in compliance with international standards and special requirements associated with freight car operation in subequatorial and tropical climate zones on the 1067-mm gauge track in Central and South Africa. The loading capacity of the car will be 54 t, and it will have a body volume of 65 m3. The car will be fitted with 18.6-t axle load bogies.

Under the agreement, UWC will deliver a batch of spare parts, special tools and testing equipment. UWC will also provide the NRZ with a range of after sales support services including training of the local staff to perform railcar maintenance operations, both at the Tikhvin production site and at the place of their use in Zimbabwe.

Boris Myagkov, Deputy CEO for Commerce and Marketing at UWC: “United Wagon Company is known as a universal manufacturer on the global market: we can design and produce railcars for any railway gauge and compliant to any railcar construction standard. Despite the African market being highly fragmented, we already have an understanding of its rules and options. The region now witnesses its transport arteries developing rapidly, railways included. In this context, we will continue expanding our exports in the African continent”.

Lewis A. Mukwada, General Manager at National Railways of Zimbabwe: “When choosing a supplier of rolling stock, we evaluate partners by various criteria. Firstly, we assess the supplier’s technical capacity and production facilities: from research and design to manufacturing. The supplier’s experience of working in similar export markets also matters. We check the actual design of railcars for compliance with the specifications required by us. We examine the railcar performance through tests and also whether maintenance services will be easy to arrange. And, of course, we prefer our partner to have a rep office in the Region to ensure constant contact. UWC meets all these requirements. We look forward to expanding our partnership with UWC, as we plan to renovate our railcar fleet, which is quite old. In the mid-term, we will be ready to negotiate more supplies of different railcar types, including tank cars, flat cars and box cars, as well as terms and conditions of setting up a network of railcar maintenance and assembly facilities. The assembled railcars will be operated in the Southern Africa region”.

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