A diesel shunting locomotive now runs on HVO

Bremerhaven shunting locomotives switched over to HVO

Diesel shunting locomotives now runs on HVO Scheer/SWH

Shunting locomotives in the German Bremerhaven are now running solely on Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) instead of diesel fuel. With funding from the state Bremen, the project including the conversion of a filling station was realised so that last-mile transport now produces significantly less emissions.

Bremerhaven seaport is is one of the two ‘twin ports’ of Bremen, together forming the Bremen Ports. In Bremerhaven seaport, three railway companies are currently active as shunting service providers for the last mile to the terminals and back. DB Cargo AG, Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser GmbH (evb) and FLEX Bahndienstleistungen GmbH are currently using up to 15 shunting locomotives, previously powered by diesel. They are in use 24 hours a day, 360 days a year and each consumed around 80,000 liters of diesel per year. By switching to HVO, emissions are greatly reduced: compared to conventional diesel, HVO causes around 90 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The biofuel is made from biological residues and waste, and has no fossil origin.

For reducing emissions in the port, a joint project called “Climate and emission protection on the last mile in rail freight transport” was set up with the participation of the Bremen Senator for Science and Ports, DB Energie GmbH and the shunting service providers DB Cargo AG and evb. The framework conditions for the conversion to HVO were also clarified. The changeover would not succeed entirely without adjustments to the vehicles and, in particular, to the rail filling station. The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen supports the companies within the scope of a subsidy of 200,000 euros.

Claudia Schilling, Bremen Senator for Science and Ports: “In Bremerhaven, we are the first major seaport in Europe to end the use of diesel for transports on the ‘last mile’ in rail freight transport and make the already environmentally and climate-friendly mode of rail transport even greener. We also want to be a role model for other ports and hinterland terminals in terms of climate protection and show how this alternative fuel can significantly reduce emissions immediately. From today on, Bremerhaven not only offers a high-performance connection by rail, but at the same time the most sustainable and climate-friendly logistics chains to the German and European hinterland.”

Want to hear more about shifting from diesel to sustainable fuels and rolling stock? Join the Rail Infra Forum on March 15 in Rotterdam or online, which makes the link between rolling stock such as hydrogen and battery trains, using biofuel, and the necessary fueling and charging infrastructure. Speakers from Deutsche Bahn, DB Energie, TÜV SÜD Rail, ProRail, TU Delft, Hydrogen Center Austria, TUC Rail, Plasser & Theurer and more are on the programme.  

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Author: Esther Geerts

Editor RailTech.com

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