ORLEN Unipetrol Doprava, a member of the refining and petrochemical group ORLEN Unipetrol, has received the last, seventh Siemens Vectron MS 383 locomotive in ORLEN Unipetrol colours at Chempark Litvínov. The handover of the new locomotive completes the planned modernisation, that began in 2017 with the objective of expanding the fleet with seven Siemens Vectron MS electric locomotives. Thanks to this gradual fleet renewal, ORLEN Unipetrol Doprava, an important rail cargo carrier in the Czech Republic, is strengthening its capacity to offer transportation to neighbouring countries and between ORLEN Group companies and is continuing to fulfil the ORLEN Group’s strategy to lower CO2 emissions. During their deployment in the ORLEN Unipetrol Group, Vectron MS locomotives have covered almost 2.8 million kilometres, i.e. the emissions equivalent of approximately 28,000 tonnes of CO2 if diesel locomotives were deployed.
“It is the ORLEN Group’s strategy to become carbon-neutral by 2050. Investments in the ORLEN Unipetrol Group’s sustainable development, including the fleet renewal at ORLEN Unipetrol Doprava, are an integral step towards meeting this objective. Furthermore, modern Siemens Vectron MS locomotives help us not only increase the volume and reliability of transportation and optimise operating costs but also lower the production of CO2 emissions, which is part of the ORLEN Group’s strategy for sustainable development,” said Tomasz Wiatrak, CEO and chairman of the Board of Directors of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group.
By including the last, seventh interoperable Siemens Vectron MS locomotive from Siemens Mobility, ORLEN Unipetrol Doprava has now completed its transportation expansion and the renewal of its locomotive fleet. Procuring these modern locomotives is part of ORLEN Unipetrol Doprava’s strategic development, within which it has invested hundreds of millions of korunas since 2017, when it started renewing its fleet.
“We are gradually renewing our fleet as planned. The first Siemens Vectron MS locomotive joined our fleet in October 2017, with others arriving gradually. The last, seventh locomotive was added this February. Each locomotive covers approximately 120,000 kilometres per year, replaces 60 trucks, and can transport trains weighing around 2,000 tonnes at 100 km/h. They not only help us increase the volume of transported products but also optimise the total costs of operation and maintenance of the fleet,” said Jaroslav Dvořák, Executive at ORLEN Unipetrol Doprava. He adds: “Through energy recovery, our Vectron locomotives generated 1,471,000 kWh in 2022, i.e. approximately 10% of the total traction electricity drawn. Moreover, they are very energy-efficient; they only consume 0.029 kWh of energy to transport one tonne of goods per kilometre.”
The Vectron locomotives in ORLEN Unipetrol colours, with an output of 6,400 kW and a regular operating speed of 100 km/h, mainly transport chemical products. These Vectrons can operate not only in the Czech Republic but also in all its neighbouring countries – Poland, Slovakia, Germany and Austria – as well as Hungary. A great emphasis is put both on performance and on safety. Apart from the railway signalling systems in the respective countries, the locomotives are equipped with the modern European Train Control System (ETCS), GSM-R, and remote diagnostics. One of the critical safety aspects of these locomotives is so-called passive safety, which provides the engineer with space for survival in an emergency.
"ETCS is a device that increases the safety of rail transport and replaces a large number of different, mutually uncooperative and often outdated national train security systems in individual countries. Unlike the majority of vehicles on the Czech railways, in which the mobile part of the European train security system ETCS is implemented only after the fact, the mobile part of the ETCS is an organic part of Siemens Vectron MS electric locomotives, none of them were manufactured and delivered without this system," says Roman Kokšal, CEO of Siemens Mobility Czech Republic and adds: "Compared to road transport, the transport of products by rail brings significant energy savings, reduces carbon dioxide emissions and, in the case of electric vehicles, which is dominant on the railway, also completely eliminates emissions of substances harmful to health . Furthermore, and this is very important, it frees highways and roads from heavy cars. This has a very positive effect on the flow of traffic and on the service life of the roads."
ORLEN Unipetrol Doprava is one of the leading rail cargo carriers in the Czech Republic and, with its contractual partners, offers transportation not only to neighbouring countries but also to the Netherlands and the Balkan states. On the rail market, it provides a broad portfolio of services. In addition to transporting chemical products, it also focuses on forwarding, rolling stock rental, repair and cleaning services, and consulting activities. Its customers include both the members of the international ORLEN Group and independent companies, including important rail forwarders, foreign carriers, and chemical companies without links to the group.
A summary of interesting facts about the Vectron multi-system locomotives in ORLEN Unipetrol colours:
- Each locomotive has an annual mileage of approximately 120,000 kilometres, i.e., roughly 11,000 km per month or 370 km per day.
- These universal electric locomotives can operate on three rail electrification systems (3 kV DC, 25 kV 50 Hz AC, 15 kV 16.7 Hz AC).
- One locomotive replaces 45 trucks on the road, or:
- 45 trucks currently on the road that are replaced by one cargo train (the impact of a larger amount of goods transported by the locomotive compared to a vehicle),
- 60 trucks currently on the road and at truck stops that are replaced by one cargo train (the impact of a larger amount of transported goods and the impact of greater mileage covered by the locomotive compared to a vehicle),
- 180 manufactured trucks replaced by cargo trains (the impact of a larger amount of transported goods, the effect of greater mileage, and the impact of the longer service life of a locomotive compared to a vehicle).
- During the deployment of the ORLEN Group’s entire Siemens Vectron MS locomotive fleet, the locomotives have covered almost 2.8 million kilometres, i.e., the emissions equivalent of approximately 28,000 tonnes of CO2 if diesel locomotives were deployed.
- With energy recovery, they save almost 1,500,000 kWh of electricity per year.
- One locomotive can transport trains weighing around 2,000 tonnes at 100 km/h. (This restriction is due to the authorised speed of most cargo wagons; the actual locomotive can operate at up to 160 km/h.)
- The locomotive is very energy-efficient; transporting one tonne of goods consumes only 0.029 kWh of electricity per kilometre, i.e., about the same amount an electric kettle needs to warm 0.2 litres of water for a cup of tea.
- Similarly to all Vectron locomotives, each ORLEN Unipetrol Vectron locomotive is equipped with the European Train Control System (ETCS).
- The Vectron locomotives for ORLEN Unipetrol are equipped and fully approved for operation in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Austria and Hungary.
- All ORLEN Unipetrol Doprava’s Vectron locomotives are fitted with a Railway Administration-approved electricity meter. Therefore, monitoring their exact consumption or traction-electricity recovery for subsequent invoicing is possible.
The ORLEN Unipetrol Group is the largest refining and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude oil processing and the production, distribution and sale of vehicle fuels and petrochemical products – particularly plastics and fertilisers. It belongs among the key players on the Czech and Central European markets in all these areas. The ORLEN Unipetrol Group encompasses refineries and production plants in Litvínov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo in Pardubice, Spolana in Neratovice, REMAQ in Otrokovice, and two research centres in Litvínov and Brno. Unipetrol also includes the ORLEN Benzina filling station network in the Czech Republic and a network of ORLEN outlets in Slovakia and Hungary. In 2005, ORLEN Unipetrol became a member of the ORLEN Group, the largest multi-energy company in Central Europe. ORLEN Unipetrol employs almost 6,000 people and is active in corporate social responsibility. It seeks to promote initiatives that cultivate and support sustainable development, education, local communities, and the environment.