Romanian railway company asks for European support to promote eco-friendly locomotives

ROMANIA EUROEST has asked the European Parliament Liaison Office in Romania, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu and the European Parliament for support to include within projects and programmes supporting the cut of CO2 emissions of some European co-financing programmes for the modernisation and transformation of old diesel, polluting and obsolete locomotives into “green” locomotives, which means electric locomotives with batteries and plug-in hybrid locomotives.
The Romanian company believes that this is the way to support the railway industry to widely promote innovative railway applications in order to create competitive advantages for railway transport.
In February 2018, ROMANIA EUROEST completed and put into operation the first Hybrid plug-in locomotive in Romania (LHy – M), a locomotive which is today at the end of the exploitation testing and product certification period according to NNTR – Romania.
In 2014, the same rolling stock repair company took over and modernised nine LDH 1250 HP locomotives from ArcelorMittal Galati’s fleet and converted them into two remote control shunting machines and seven electric locomotives on batteries (LEA – plug -in).
Before asking for the support of European institutions, ROMANIA EUROEST has asked for the support of Romanian authorities.
“By using electric locomotives on batteries, the quantity of polluting emissions released in the atmosphere would reduce by 220 tonnes”, believes ROMANIA EUROEST. The determination was made in the context of the Cleaner Research Project – D “CLEAN EUROPEAN RAIL – DIESEL” whose conclusions show that: “economically and technically speaking, for railway transport operators, replacing or transforming diesel locomotives is a challenge”.
ROMANIA EUROEST has substantiated a comparison regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions between a RO – LA type transport with a frequency of 1 transport / 2 days and at a maximum loading compared with the operation of eight electric locomotives on batteries already upgraded by the company and in use since 2015 on the platform of Galati-based ArcelorMittal Galati metal factory.
According to the comparison, a cut in CO2 emissions of 1,741 tonnes of CO2 / year resulted when using RO – LA compared to a cut of CO2 emissions of 1,758 tonnes / year when using LEA.
“We notice similar reductions of emissions, but for RO – LA transport there are financing programmes carried out by the National Environment Funds Administration, while there is no state-budget financing for electric locomotives on batteries”, explained ROMANIA EUROEST.
The company based in Constanta asked for the amendment or completion of POR – 2018 guide, chapter “Reducing transport CO2 emissions”, by including railway transport as eligible and funding-feasible activity.
Thus, the company asks for the modernisation of diesel locomotives more than 40-year old and excessively polluting by transforming them into ELECTRIC BATTERY plug-in LOCOMOTIVES and HYBRID plug-in LOCOMOTIVES which, apart from many technical and economic advantages, would also generate the reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 2,400 tonnes for 110 diesel, polluting locomotives used on the Romanian industrial platforms (two metal factories in Galati and Hunedoara, Heidelberg, Holcim and CRH cement factories, AZOMURES, CHIMCOMPLEX, OLTCHIM chemical and petrochemical factories, PETROMIDIA, PETROBRAZI/, VEGA, OIL TERMINAL, ALRO SLATINA, CE OLTENIA refineries, ports etc.), as well as noise reduction by up to 65%.
For now, the chapter on reducing CO2 emissions only refers to road transport and excludes railway transport.
The company asked for to the introduction of a fundable programme and “the modernisation of diesel locomotives with their transformation into LEAs and LHs”, as the revenues of the Environment Fund have been increased.
In its activity, ROMANIA EUROEST reminds of the White Paper on Transport elaborated several years ago by the European Commission, a reference document which supports reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% until 2050 compared with 1990 levels with intermediate phases of 40% until 2030 and 60% until 2040.
The same White Paper on Transport says that “30% of road freight transport on distances of over 300 km should be shifted by 2030 to other transport modes, such as railway transport”. Therefore, using locomotives on batteries would support this modal shift a lot more.
ROMANIA EUROEST also reminds of the introduction of an INVESTMENT FUND OF EUR 100 MILLION launched by the European Commission and Break Through Energy Coalition in the field of non-polluting energy, a fund supporting innovative European undertakings to develop and to introduce revolutionary non-polluting energy technologies in the market.
The new energy investment fund will become operational starting this year.
Finally, ROMANIA EUROEST asks the European decision makers to provide support for creating a REPLICA of LEA NON-POLLUTING LOCOMOTIVE as SHUNTING LOCOMOTIVE on all Romanian industrial platforms and Constanta and Galati ports by LAUNCHING EUROPEAN CO-FINANCING PROJECTS available to the owners / operators of diesel polluting locomotives to support them in CONVERTING THE VEHICLES into GREEN LOCOMOTIVES.
ROMANIA EUROEST has also asked for further details on the possibility of accessing financial sources, available through the new European investment fund to upgrade diesel polluting locomotives and convert them into “green” locomotives on batteries. At the same time, the Romanian company asks for the support of European authorities in order to promote its products on the European Union market.


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