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China opens 1813km heavy-haul railway

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Cargo Train

China’s 1813.5km Haoji Railway – a north-south heavy-haul coal line – was officially opened on September 28. The electrified line runs from Ordos City in Inner Mongolia south through the provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi to Ji’an. The section between Taoli Temple and Pingtian is double-track, while the rest of the line is single track with provision to lay a second track if necessary. The line has a maximum speed of 120km/h.

Construction started in 2015. The project, which was formerly known as the Menghua Railway, faced some major challenges as the line crosses the both the Yangtze and Yellow rivers twice. It also passes through the Mu Us desert, the Loess Plateau, and three mountain ranges. There are 770 bridges with a total length of 381km and 229 tunnels totalling 468.5km.

Innovation

According to China State Railway Group (CR), “during construction a total of 119 construction methods were innovated, 165 patents were obtained, 60 science and technology awards were won, and 85 scientific research projects were established. The world’s first large-section profiled earth pressure balance shield machine was developed.”

The Haoji Railway also uses the latest technology and has what CR describes as intelligent integrated dispatching, intelligent traction power supply, and infrastructure intelligent operation and maintenance.

A new company model was established for the project. In 2012, led by the former Ministry of Railways and local governments, 16 companies, as project sponsors, set up China’s largest mixed-ownership joint-venture railway company. The number of shareholders has since increased to 21. The Haoji Railway has 21 terminals and has a design capacity of more than 200 million tonnes a year.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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EU launches Connecting Europe Facility call worth €1.4bn

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Σιδηροδρομικό έργο

The European Commission launched a call worth €1.4bn on October 16 to support key transport projects implemented in 2021-2027 through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

The investment will help build missing connections across the continent, while focusing on sustainable transport modes. The call is split into two, with the cohesion envelope, which is worth €650m, reserved for the 15 EU Member States that are eligible for Cohesion Fund support: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

This funding is split between:

– Pre-identified projects on the corridors of the core network (railways, inland waterways, roads, maritime and inland ports) – €610m

– Safe and secure infrastructure, including safe and secure parking on the road core network – €40m

The general envelope, which to applications from all EU member states, has a budget of €750m across the following areas:

– Pre-identified projects on the corridors of the core network (railways, inland waterways, roads, maritime and inland ports) – €500m

– Deployment of European rail traffic management system (ERTMS) – €50m

– Safe and secure infrastructure, including safe and secure parking on the road core network – €20m

– Intelligent Transport Services For Road (ITS) – €20m

– Single European sky (Sesar) – €20m

– Actions implementing transport infrastructure in core network nodes, including urban nodes and passengers multimodality – €110m

– Motorways of the sea – €30m

“To accelerate decarbonisation and contribute to the completion of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), we are making full use of the resources available through the CEF,” says transport commissioner, Ms Violeta Bulc.

“These investments will support smart and sustainable mobility and better connect our citizens across Europe.” A virtual information day will take place on November 7, with the deadline for applications on February 26 2020. CEF is the European Union’s funding instrument for strategic investment in transport, energy and digital infrastructure.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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ENEL inaugurates Kafireas, the largest wind facility of Greece

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Enel, through its Greek renewables subsidiary Enel Green Power Hellas S.A. (“EGPH”), has connected to the grid its new Kafireas wind farm complex, which is the largest of its kind in the country with an overall capacity of more than 154 MW. Located in the municipality of Karystos (Evia), Kafireas involved an overall investment of around 300 million euros. Today’s inauguration ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr. Kostis Hatzidakis, along with Enel Green Power CEO, Mr. Antonio Cammisecra, Enel’s Head of Europe and Euro-Mediterranean Affairs, Mr. Simone Mori, as well as the Head of Enel Green Power Europe, Mr. Aristotelis Chantavas.

Antonio Cammisecra, Enel Green Power CEO, said: “We have reached a significant milestone by connecting to the grid the largest wind project in Greece, one of the first countries where we started our renewable journey more than a decade ago. Kafireas underscores our global commitment to renewable energy and decarbonisation, in line with our pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as our commitment to a diversified generation mix at country level.

On top of the supply of zero-emission energy nationwide, this project also has a strong local focus, as we are supporting our stakeholders in Evia by backing sustainability initiatives aimed at enhancing the island’s economy, alongside undertaking environmental protection activities.”

 EGPH already operates two wind farms in the municipality of Karystos, the 7.5 MW Iliolousti I and the 9 MW Iliolousti II. EGPH is a leading owner and operator of renewable plants in Greece; with Kafireas, the company will reach over 460 MW of installed capacity from wind (approximately 354 MW), solar (around 90 MW) and hydro (about 20 MW).

The Kafireas facility, which is a cluster of seven wind farms for a total of 67 turbines, will be capable of generating approximately 480 GWh per year, which is set to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by 315,000 tonnes annually. The facility is supported by a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Hellenic Electricity Market Operator (DAPEEP).

The wind project includes the interconnection with mainland Greece through a 150kV high-voltage overhead, underground and submarine cable as well as two new 150 kV high-voltage substations in Evia. The energy from Kafireas will be delivered to the national grid on mainland Greece through the super-high-voltage station located in Pallini, Attica.

The construction of Kafireas has implemented Enel’s “Sustainable Construction Site” model, involving the recycling of 550,000 tonnes of soil and stones excavated during construction to revert an inactive quarry to nature, as well as the reuse of 10 tonnes of construction materials like wooden pallets, in cooperation with the local community, to fix the stables of local shepherds.

In line with the Creating Shared Value (CSV) model adopted by the Enel Group, which aims to combine business development and local community needs, EGPH has carried out sustainability projects in support of local activities such as beekeeping and livestock breeding.

These projects include the creation, throughout the wind parks, of special areas for the optimal positioning of beehives and ramps to facilitate the movement of sheep and goats. Other initiatives being carried out include the reforestation of around 100 hectares, including the wild chestnut forest of Kastanologgos of 64 hectares, with the aim to recreate and protect the wider ecosystem, support forestry activities, as well as promoting sustainable tourism.

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Hybrid tolling system in Olympia Motorway to operate in 2020

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2020 is expected to be the year of operation of the Olympia Odos hybrid tolling system in Greece. This pioneering system will make Olympia Motorway the first motorway to enter into the era of distance-based, «fair» charging in the country.

Much has been written and discussed recently about this system, as well as interoperability.

But what is the «hybrid tolling system»?

Its operation is both «smart» and extremely simple. O-pass users will be charged at each toll station according to the concessionaire’s pricelist per charging zone, as originally envisaged in the motorway charging scheme.

However, users that leave the motorway at an interchange situated before the end of the charging zone will get a refund based on the actual kilometres traveled into their o-pass account.

To that end, the existing system will be equipped with 30 additional «free flow» gantry stations situated at selected entrance and exit points of the motorway that will be able to record the distance-based trip of all o-pass users.
Market sources predict that other motorway concession companies will follow Olympia Motorway’s lead and install similar systems.

The Canadian IBI Group, contractor of the innovative project

Who is implementing this innovative -for Greece at least- system? The implementation of the Olympia Motorway hybrid tolling system has been awarded to the long-standing Canadian company IBI Group and is essentially an extension of the current Olympia Motorway tolling system, which was also installed by IBI Group back in 2017 – as well as the Motorway Traffic Management System.

The country Manager of IBI Group Hellas, Mr. Antulio Richetta commented at ypodomes.com: «We are proud to be the first to deliver this unique project in collaboration with Olympia Motorway, based on the existing electronic tolling system, and introducing a state-of-the-art distance-based pricing model in Greece.

The project is expected to greatly benefit both local communities along Olympia motorway and frequent users of the motorway.»

In this project, IBI is responsible for the turn-key provision of the hybrid system including the overall project management, the design, supply of the tolling software, equipment procurement, installation, integration and configuration, as well as after sales services including software support and maintenance.

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