New rail transport route makes European waste fuels more sustainable

A cooperation with Deutsche Bahn (DB) marks the start of Geminor’s new transport route of waste fuels through central Europe. The coming shift to rail will cut CO2 emissions to only one fifth of the road transport emissions.

After testing different rail transport solutions since January this year, Geminor is officially establishing a new railway route for the transport of baled waste from southern Europe to Scandinavia. The new route is set up to cater for contracts with Danish waste-to-energy operators, which will receive RDF and SRF from northern and central Italy in the coming years.

The new cooperation makes Geminor DB Cargo’s biggest client on waste transport.

2500 km transport route

A total volume of 20 wagons weekly, each carrying approximately 50 tonnes of baled waste, will be transported to Denmark and Sweden via Germany – a total distance of 2500 km.

The waste will pass through Geminor’s HUB in Braunsbedra, close to the city of Leipzig. There, the industrial waste will be treated and mixed to low calorific RDF and high calorific SRF. The tailormade fractions are then baled and transported on to the final destinations in Denmark and Sweden.

Saves big emissions

Choosing rail transport instead of ship and road transport is a decision based on several factors, says Geminor’s Country Manager for Italy and Germany, Andreas Hefler.

– Rail transport is both practical and economical. In addition, data collected from DB shows that rail transport is considerably more sustainable compared to road transport.

– Transporting 1000 tonnes of baled waste from Italy to Denmark by rail, a distance of approximately 2 500 km, leads to the emission of 32 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. In comparison, transporting the same tonnage on trucks leads to a total of 142 tonnes of CO2 emissions. That makes road transport 110 tonnes – or 4,3 times more polluting than rail transport, says Andreas Hefler.

CM at Geminor in Germany, Andeas Hefler.

In the DB emissions data, factors such as diesel production (well to wheel), electric vs. diesel trains (90 percent factor), shorter distance by road and total loading capacity is brought into the equation.

The Geminor transport alone will lead to an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of over 5 500 tonnes.

– We are happy to see the new rail route working as planned. This means that we can implement larger projects of waste fuel transport involving countries such as Sweden, Norway and Austria. The use of more sustainable rail transport will not only make a difference for Geminor, but probably also for the entire industry in the coming years, concludes Geminor’s Country Manager for Italy and Germany, Andreas Hefler.

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