VR introduces renewable diesel in collaboration with UPM Plywood

VR introduces renewable diesel in collaboration with UPM Plywood
© vrgroup.fi

This collaboration is a model for integrating renewable energy solutions in the rail industry.

VR has partnered with UPM Plywood to introduce renewable diesel in rail operations. This collaboration marks VR's inaugural Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) initiative, aimed at drastically reducing emissions from rail transports of plywood from UPM's Pellos plant to Kouvola and Kotka, effectively bringing these Scope 1 emissions near zero.

VR and UPM focus on lowering carbon dioxide emissions through actionable solutions. With only about 60% of Finland’s railway network electrified, finding sustainable alternatives to electricity is crucial. The partnership leverages renewable diesel and has optimized Pellos' rail operations by improving train capacity utilization and reducing the number of locomotives needed per train from two to one.

Joni Lehtonen, Vice President, Commercial at VR Transpoint, emphasized the current necessity of renewable fuels. “Since other alternative types of motive power for rail transport, such as battery and hydrogen locomotive technology, are still in the development stage, the most practical solution for non-electrified railway sections is currently renewable fuel,” he stated.

Additionally, UPM Plywood is tackling its Scope 3 emissions, predominantly associated with raw material procurement and product transportation. "The transition of Pellos’ rail traffic to a more efficient operating model and the use of renewable diesel is a good example of constructive cooperation with concrete reductions in emissions,” explained Juha Vallittu, Logistics Manager at UPM.

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