American company General Electric will begin construction of an engine factory in the Leningrad Region as soon as an agreement with the Russian Communications Ministry has been signed. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Director of Locomotive Programmes for GE Transportation Systems Douglas Rockwell after talks with Governor of the Leningrad Region Valery Serdyukov. Mr Rockwell said that talks with the Russian ministry are nearing completion. GE Transportation Systems has an agreement with the Russian ministry to supply new engines for 765 Russian locomotives over the next five years.
The first stage of investment in the new factory will total USD 25 million. General Electric is expected to produce 200 diesel engines a year. Over the next five years, there are plans to invest USD 50 million in production and during this time the output of engines is expected to increase to 500 a year. Mr Rockwell emphasised that this will not only mean that the demand on the Russian market is met, it will also mean that some of the engines can be exported abroad. He said that the details of the project would be complete by June 2003.
General Electric is considering the possibility of constructing the factory either in the Tosnensky or the Vsevolozhsk district of the Leningrad Region. 80% of the engines produced at the factory are expected to be sold on the Russian market.
General Electric is active in the areas of high technology and services. The company's operations range from producing engines for aeroplanes, turbines and plastic to financial services and making television programmes. In 2002 General Electric recorded a net profit of USD 15.1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 7%.