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Eurasianet is an independent news organization that covers news from and about the South Caucasus and Central Asia, providing on-the-ground reporting and critical perspectives on…

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Uzbekistan Plans Electric Bus Fleet With Chinese Support

  • Uzbekistan Railways JSC holds talks with CRRC for the modernization of electric locomotives and production localization.
  • China assists Uzbekistan with a $120 million allocation for purchasing high-capacity buses and plans for electric buses in Tashkent.
  • Kazakhstan's Samruk-Kazyna signs a cooperation agreement with CRRC to explore investment opportunities and advance locomotive manufacturing using advanced technologies.

Uzbekistan is looking to China for help in upgrading the Uzbek rail system. A delegation from the Chinese locomotive and rolling stock manufacturer CRRC held talks in Tashkent in late February with the state rail company Uzbekistan Railways JSC. Discussions focused on the “modernization of electric locomotives and localization of production,” according to the Uzbek company’s statement. The talks, however, did not yield any concrete agreements.

China is also assisting Uzbekistan in modernizing its fleet of public buses for use in Uzbek cities. The China Development Bank is reportedly allocating $120 million to purchase 1,000 Chinese-manufactured “high-capacity buses” powered by compressed gas, according to a report distributed by the UzDaily agency.

According to an Uzbek government decree, officials also have plans to allocate about $60 million for the purchase of 200 electric public buses that will operate in the capital, Tashkent. The wording of the Uzbek decree does specify whether Chinese funding for the improvements is considered a loan or a grant.

Related: 2 Ways to Play Europe’s $800 Billion Energy Crisis

Meanwhile, in Kazakhstan, representatives of the state national welfare fund, Samruk-Kazyna, signed a cooperation agreement with CRRC, the Chinese locomotive maker. The pact appears to be mostly aspirational and did not mention any specific deal.

A Samruk-Kazyna statement said the two entities aimed “to strengthen ties and search for new investment opportunities.”

As was the case with CRRC’s talks in Uzbekistan, the Kazakh fund also emphasized a desire to “localize” locomotive manufacturing “using advanced technologies and [encourage] the creation of service centers for equipment maintenance.”

By Eurasianet.org


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