30 january 2012

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, currently on a working visit to the Leningrad Region, visits the Tikhvin train carriage factory to attend the launch ceremony for serial production


During Vladimir Putin's tour of the enterprise, which is currently launching serial production of four types of freight wagons, ICT Group President Alexander Nesis told him that the project received some $1.3 billion in investments. Mr Nesis pointed out that the factory was essentially built from scratch. "You mean all the old stuff was demolished?" Vladimir Putin asked. "Yes. Some of these workshops were not there at all," the ICT Group president replied.

"I think this line is going to operate well and it will be in demand," the prime minister said. "You know, our rolling stock fleet is old and needs to be replaced."

Alexander Nesis also outlined a development plan for Tikhvin. According to him, Tikhvin, which used to be a common Soviet town with a single major employer, is now being converted into an industrial centre. "It would be an impossible task in the absence of a high quality urban environment," he added.

At the wheel and truck production line, Vladimir Putin talked to an employee, who said he was content with his job. The prime minister was particularly interested in the number of highly skilled employees. Alexander Nesis explained that one third of the total of 1,500 employees has university degrees. When the factory reaches its planned capacity, the total staff will be 4,500 people. The average age of the workers is 33 years.

Vladimir Putin went on to inspect the metal-cutting line. "From where do you receive metal?" he asked. "From Severstal and Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works," Mr Nesis replied, adding, "We are content with the quality."

After that, the prime minister was shown a rolling will and bending unit.

Following the tour of the Tikhvin factory, the prime minister attended the launch ceremony for serial production. He pressed a button on the control panel that mounts trucks on wheels and launched the final stage of a wagon assembly.

"This is the largest factory of this kind in Europe, equipped with the latest technology," Vladimir Putin said, and congratulated the staff on the launch of production. The workers asked Mr Putin to sign the first wagon.

In his conversation with the workers, the prime minister noted that new, modern residential buildings are being constructed for the factory's employees. "I had a look around and saw that new houses are being built," he said. " These are decent, good quality flats."