GBRf secures biomass haulage contract

GB Railfreight (GBRf), the third largest rail freight operator in the UK, has signed a rail haulage contract with Lynemouth Power Ltd (LPL) to build 50 new purpose-built high-capacity biomass hopper wagons.

The contract is part of a 10-year investment project for Lynemouth Power Station, which is currently in the process of converting from coal burn generation to biomass.

GBRf plans to run 27 trains per week between Port of Tyne and Lynemouth Power Station, delivering more than 37,000 tonnes of biomass fuel per week.

GBRf used to run the coal services to Lynemouth power station when it was owned by RWE npower. The last coal train into the station was April 2015.

The new hoppers are estimated to start their service on the October 1 2017.

John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf, said: "We are delighted to announce this new contract with LPL, as a result of the commitment and dedication from our team. GBRf has grown extensively over the past few years, and new contracts with companies such as LPL are an indication of the positive outlook for our company’s future.

“This new contract shows the strength of our company, at a critical time for investment in the rail freight industry, we are very proud we are able to continue to grow in this environment… We look forward to working closely with them [LPL] to help deliver power to the UK National Grid.”

The announcement follows the completion of a deal between GBRf and PUMA energy last month, to run fuels services from Interminals Immingham East.

Private equity group EQT Infrastructure II recently acquired GBRf from Groupe Eurotunnel’s for €180 million.

The company’s team of 650 people operates more than 1,000 trainloads a week, moving approximately 15% of UK’s rail freight. GBRf has a fleet of more than 130 locomotives and 1,100 wagons, transporting goods for customers including Drax, Network Rail, EDF Energy, MSC UK, Aggregate Industries and Tarmac.