The Bangladesh Railway (BR) signed a contract with a Korean company on Thursday to procure 10 metre-gauge (MG) locomotives for its fleet at a cost of US$37 million (Tk 2.97 billion).
As per the deal, Hyundai Rotem Company will supply 10 MG diesel electric engines in the next two years.
Additional Director General of Bangladesh Railway Mohammad Shamsuzzaman and Director, Global Rail Group 2 (Asia) of Hyundai Rotem, Kwang-Kyun Yoon signed the agreement at a ceremony at Rail Bhaban.
Railway Minister Mazibul Hoque, Secretary Mohammad Mofazzel Hossain and other BR officials were present at the signing ceremony.
At the ceremony, the minister said BR will soon procure 70 locomotives from the same company, as the cabinet committee on government purchase approved the supplier's credit proposal on Wednesday.
The 10 locomotives are being procured with the financial assistance from Asian Development Bank, he added.
The minister also said the BR has given priority to improving its services by replacing age-old MG locomotives.
BR has 179 MG locomotives, 140 of which are overage and exceeded their economic life of 20 years.
Though the state-owned train operator uses these locomotives/engines through overhauling, replacement of those and procuring of newer modern ones have been given priority to meet the shortage and increase revenue earnings.
The BR procured 46 metre-gauge and broad-gauge locomotives in 2009 and 2017.
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