Wind Turbines by Rail – SNCF Geodis and Vestas Initiate a Shift for the Industry

GEODISWILSON125Global logistics provider SNCF Geodis and Vestas, the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturer, launched a breakthrough concept in the transportation for wind turbine blades. For the first time in Europe 55-metre long wind blades have been delivered by rail, from Germany to Denmark, generating significant reductions in transport time, costs and CO2-emissions.

“We took an innovative approach to lowering the cost of energy while at the same time reducing impact on the environment”, says Mette Heileskov Bülow, Transportation Chief Specialist at Vestas. The first blade-by-train transport, consisting of nine wind blades went in less than 20 hours from Vestas’ production facility in Lauchhammer, Germany, to the port of Esbjerg, Denmark, mainly by electric railway. By road it would have taken 72 hours, involving 9 trucks accompanied by 18 safety cars.

SNCF Geodis and Vestas are about to design rail connections between Vestas’ production facilities, research centres, warehouses and erection locations throughout Europe. Changing the mode of transport for the majority of these onshore wind turbine components in Europe in the near future will also reduce transportation cost – “already at this early stage we experience a reduction of up to 15%”, confirms Mette Heileskov Bülow.

Pierre Blayau, CEO of SNCF Geodis, says: “This new transportation concept shows the beneficial strategic fit between SNCF Geodis and Vestas. Both our companies are role models for creating sustainable solutions in our respective industries.”

Going forward, SNCF Geodis and Vestas already plan to design rail connections between more Vestas’ facilities in Europe. The transport management will be provided by Geodis Wilson’s Industrial Projects division and its specialized oversize-rail-cargo unit STSI, together with Captrain, the European freight rail division of SNCF Geodis.

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About SNCF Geodis

SNCF Geodis, the Transports and Logistics Division of SNCF Group, provides an end-to-end flow management solutions for its customers in Europe and worldwide. With its global multimodal network covering 120 countries and a 47,700-strong workforce, SNCF Geodis is the fourth-largest transport and logistics operator in Europe, with a revenue of 9.4 billion € in 2011.

Geodis Wilson is the freight forwarding division of Geodis. With its 7,300 employees in more than 50 countries and a revenue of 2,4 billion € in 2011, the company delivers integrated logistics solutions with a dedicated industry focus. Geodis Wilson runs also a dedicated specialist network for industrial projects, managing all kinds of oversized cargo operations worldwide.

About Captrain

Captrain is the European rail arm of SNCF Geodis. It was formed in 2010, following a series of acquisitions in several countries. With its 1350 employees all across Europe it covers rail freight activities outside France. Captrain units are based in Germany, Benelux, Italy, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland and the UK. In 2011, Captrain generated a revenue of 396 million € (up to 26% compared to 2010).

About Geodis Wilson

About Vestas

Vestas wind turbines deliver clean energy that supports the global fight against climate change. Wind power from Vestas’ more than 47,000 wind turbines currently reduces carbon emissions by approximately 55 million tons of CO2 every year, while at the same time building energy security and independence. Vestas delivers wind energy in more than 70 countries, providing jobs for over 20,000 employees. With 65 per cent more megawatts installed than its closest competitor and more than 51 GW of cumulative installed capacity worldwide, Vestas is the world leader in wind energy.

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