Rolling stock manufacturing in Belarus has been given a 14.5 million euro boost after the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed a loan to support the production of electric rail vehicles in the country.
The investment will help fund a joint venture between Stadler and the Minsk Region Executive Committee (MREC), which has seen the Swiss firm partner with Belarusian tram manufacturer Belkommunmash (BKM).
By offering investment and technology, Stadler is hoping to gain a bigger presence in Russia and other former Soviet Union countries.
The new factory in Minsk, which is due to open in 2013, has already received a firm order to supply 24 double-deck vehicles for the Russian operator Aeroexpress.
Announcing the order in February, Peter Spuhler, owner and chief executive of Stadler Rail Group, said: “After winning a first order from Russian rail vehicle manufacturer Transmash Holding a year and a half ago, this order represents a breakthrough in the Russian market for Stadler.”
As well as work at the new factory, the existing BKM site in the capital will be refurbished under the agreement.