Hector Rail has signed an agreement with SCA Skog AB – Norrbränsle concerning the transportation of forest-based biofuel from terminals in Norrland to various recipients in Sweden. The annual volume is initially estimated at approximately 200,000 tons, although system capacity may be further expanded. The fuel will be transported in special containers from Austrian company Innofreight GmbH. In addition to railway engines and drivers, Hector Rail will also be responsible for the fully equipped freight cars.
Because biofuel is carbon-dioxide neutral, it does not contribute to global warming. Nor will the transports contribute to any negative climate impact since electric trains will be used. Biofuel is still in the early stages of development as an energy source and is expected to undergo substantial growth, particularly considering the price trend for oil-based fuel. In most cases, the recipients will be heating plants, where the biofuel will be converted into district heating.
This agreement is an expansion of the cooperation between Hector Rail and SCA Skog that was initiated in January 2007, when Hector Rail took over transportation of 1.8 million tons of round timber (known as the Töva system) in central Norrland.
The system will employ one locomotive, 23 freight cars and four drivers. Because this is a new service, no previous transport system has been replaced. The market for biofuel is expected a rapid growth. This is a first strategic step for a sustainable transport of a sustainable source of energy.