VLI - a logistics solutions company that operates ports, railways and terminals - has signed a contract for nine Wabtec Evolution Series locomotives (model ES43BBI) to transport cargo on the Ferrovia Centro-Atlântica (FCA). The order, valued at approximately R$200 million, represents a further investment by VLI in the national rolling stock industry. The first locomotives are expected to be delivered in approximately 18 months.
The new locomotives will meet the growing demand for freight transport on the company's Central-East Corridor, which transports steel, agribusiness, coal, fertiliser, fuel and cellulose to the port system of Espírito Santo. These shipments include a recently signed 30-year contract with LD Cellulose for the transport of dissolving pulp. VLI will transport 500,000 tonnes per year of material produced in the Triângulo Mineiro to the port of Barra do Riacho (ES). For the LD Cellulose contract, the company has invested R$ 400 million in wagons specially designed to transport dissolving pulp.
“The signing of this contract reinforces our commitment to customers who transport their cargo with VLI on the Ferrovia Centro-Atlântica and our team's ability to co-create solutions to generate efficiency. It is also important to remember that the early renewal of the Ferrovia Centro-Atlântica concession contract will bring new increases in cargo volumes and, consequently, more incentives for national wagon and locomotive manufacturers”, says Fábio Marchiori, interim CEO of VLI and director of Finance, Supply Chain and Company Services.
The ES43BBi is a heavy-haul locomotive specially designed for the 1000 mm gauge railways in Brazil. It is equipped with a powerful 12-cylinder, 4500 hp Evolution Series engine and eight powered axles designed to operate in Brazil's extreme environment. In addition to the service-proven Evolution Series engine, the ES43BBi features a technologically advanced AC traction system with individual axle control and robust articulated trucks. The locomotive also features a redesigned air-to-air system and additional fans integrated directly into the traction motors. It also offers lower life cycle costs through improved fuel efficiency, lower emissions and reduced wear and tear on parts. The locomotive is also equipped with RailConnect 360 software solutions, including Trip Optimizer, LOCOTROL Distributed Power System, PTC and PTC 2.0, which further enhance efficiency, safety and optimise train operation.
“The Wabtec ES43BBi was developed in Brazil, by Brazilian engineers to focus on increasing productivity, efficiency, reducing fuels, and emissions for railroads that operate in metric gauge,” said Danilo Miyasato, President and Leader of Wabtec LatAm. “Given the challenges posed by the metric gauge and national logistics, Wabtec combined VLI's needs with the most innovative AC locomotive technology. Today, there are more than 50 locomotives of this model in operation in the country with high levels of reliability and availability.”
The Centro-Atlântica Railroad runs through seven Brazilian states, transporting wealth from different segments, such as agribusiness, steel, and civil construction to supply the domestic and foreign markets.