Despite the coronavirus pandemic, one of the Eurasian Economic Union's biggest makers of long-distance rails has agreed to supply Russian Railways with its products.
Kazakh firm Aktobe Rail and Section Works (ARBZ) has defied quarantine and other coronavirus-related restrictions and has continued production at its plant which employs 800 staff.
ARBZ's rails are already being used in Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Turkey.
Its unique appeal stems from the fact that it is the only plant in the EAEU which complies with international quality requirements. It is also the only plant which has the capacity to produce 120-metre rails as required by Russian Railways for its almost 85,600 kilometres of railway.
The agreement to deliver 50,000 tons to Russian Railways is one of the biggest deals for ARBZ this year and director Valeriy Obilets said that the business "expects to annually increase the volume of deliveries to Russian Railways".
Most rails supplied to the Russian market will be 100 meters in length.
At present ARBZ applies a technological mode for rails used for high-speed transport. These rails can be applied to launch passenger and freight trains running at speeds between 141 and 200 km/h.
At the same time, ARBZ has the potential to produce special-purpose rails of passenger trains travelling faster than 200 km/h.
About Aktobe Plant
Construction of the Aktobe rail and section works began in April 2013, and the total cost of the project stands at 82.7 billion KZT ($190 million).
Up to 70% of the required financing was provided by the Development Bank of Kazakhstan JSC (a subsidiary of the “Baiterek” Holding), which funded the project under a state programme for accelerated industrial and innovative development in Kazakhstan.
The Development Bank of Kazakhstan JSC promotes the sustainable development of the national economy of Kazakhstan by investing in the non-resource sector of the country.
The arsenal of the national development institute includes a wide variety of financial tools - from medium- and long-term loans, including projects “from scratch”, to loans for export of finished products.