BOMBARDIER Transportation’s Chief Operating Officer Wolfgang Tölsner and Transmash Holding President Dmitri A Komissarov have signed a €12·5m agreement establishing two equally-owned joint ventures in Russia. Signed in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on May 25 during the Strategic Partnership 1520 conference, the agreement covers the creation of an engineering joint venture in Moscow this autumn which will develop advanced propulsion technology and rolling stock components. ‘For the first time in Russian railway manufacturing, a technologically-independent engineering centre will be created,’ Komissarov told delegates including RZD President Vladimir Yakunin. ‘Together with our foreign partners, it will develop new advanced products based on mutual experience, knowledge and technologies, not only for the Russian market, but also for other countries.’A manufacturing joint venture will be established at Transmash Holding’s plant in Novocherkassk, manufacturing traction converters based on Bombardier’s Mitrac technology. Production will begin with advanced converters required for a new generation of RZD locomotives with asynchronous traction, and an output of least 600 converters is planned for 2012. Bombardier will support the start-up of production to ensure that work is undertaken to the latest European standards, and provide training in western Europe for Russian staff.Law firm Hogan & Harston advised Transmash on the corporate, tax and intellectual property aspects of the ventures.Yakunin and Komissarov signed a contract in Sochi for the development and delivery of 806 EP20, EP2, EP3 and EP4 locos with asynchronous traction by 2015. RZD Vice-President Valentin Gapanovich said the €4m multi-system EP20 locos would make possible a saving of 16 million kWh per year at a time when RZD is seeking to lower its energy costs. RZD is currently responsible for around 5% of total electric power consumption in Russia, with its usage expected to grow 10% by 2010. Traction power and fuel make up 16% of RZD’s total operational expenditure.