New contract with VR Transpoint will considerably reduce SSAB’s transport emissions in Finland
June 22, 2021 9:00 CEST 6 min read
VR Transpoint and SSAB have signed a contract on the rail transport of raw materials and products. The goal is to halve the transport emissions covered by cooperation by 2024.
Kuva: Juho Kuva
The contract to halve transport emissions in the rail transport of steel coils and iron ore pellets involves massive volumes. Since around 2.3 million tonnes are transported in Finland each year, the efficient, safe and environmentally friendly implementation of logistics is important. VR Transpoint and SSAB have already managed to cut transport emissions by 16% compared to 2018 levels – the new joint goal is to halve existing emissions by 2024. In addition, the potential has been identified for even greater emissions reductions going forward.
“The goal over the next three years will be reached partly by switching transport from road to rail and by developing and updating the train rolling stock and road transport fleet. In addition, railroad electrification will improve efficiency. The measures now agreed will allow us to reach a reduction of around 50% compared to existing emission levels,” estimates Martti Koskinen, Senior Vice President, Logistics at VR Transpoint.
“We are constantly working to improve all our transports in line with our sustainability strategy. Our goal is the most efficient overall logistics and minimum emissions. Cooperation with VR Transpoint is an important part of this concept and the goals now agreed are an important new step forward in this work,” says Janne Pirttijoki, Head of BU Finland at SSAB Europe.
There is also close work between the companies on the safety front. Safety is a top priority for both VR Transport and SSAB and development is monitored. Both companies are aiming for a zero-accident work community.
Rail transports keep industry and exports rolling
VR Transpoint is SSAB’s key partner in transport chain from raw materials to steel products. The transport chain is multistage and its smooth implementation safeguards production continuity.
“Safeguarding industrial transport is important for our entire national economy. Efficient logistics solutions are emphasized especially in the international operating environment of the metals industry,” outlines Koskinen at VR Transpoint.
“Rail transport is critical for us in the transport of raw materials, traffic between our mills and in exports,” says Pirttijoki at SSAB.
Most of the iron ore pellets come from Sweden but significant quantities also reach SSAB Raahe by rail from Russia. Raahe makes hot-rolled strip and plate products. What is known as the megatrain transports a significant share of the steel coils daily from Raahe to Hämeenlinna, where the steel is processed further. Export products go by rail from Hämeenlinna to the ports. SSAB is an important customer for VR Transpoint, not just in railroad but also in road logistics.
Under the contract, VR Transport and SSAB will plan new rolling stock for rail transport to enable the transport of increasingly greater loads. The companies have earlier worked together to develop the largest freight train in Finland, the 690-meter long and 5,200-tonne megatrain, and the so-called mammoth truck for road logistics. Higher volume single transports have helped to improve efficiency and safety, and deliver environmental benefits.