Vopak EOS Plans Baltic Assembly Line for GE Locomotives
Estonian oil terminal operator Vopak EOS plans to begin assembling General Electric's (GE) locomotives in the Baltics.
The company's subsidiary, Estonian Railway Services (ERS), is testing GE's new diesel-powered Evolution TE33A, which is expected to replace thousands of aging 2TE locomotives in Russia, reported Eesti Päevaleht.
"It is cheaper to put the locomotives together in our own depot than to transport them from Kazakhstan to Estonia through Russia,” said Arnout Lugtmeijer, CEO of Vopak EOS.
The company plans to purchase 10 to 14 Evolutions in the next two to three years. But other companies in the Baltics are in the coming years in need of many more replacements - around 200.
“If we can manage assembling the locomotives for our own company's needs, then we should be capable of assembling them for other Baltic countries,” said Lugtmeijer.
For American producer GE, the Evolution locomotives represent a breakthrough in the 1520-millimeter Soviet track gauge.
ERS will be testing the engines in GE's Kazakhstan factory until March.