GATX Rail Tank Cars make a Contribution to the Environment:
Change From Ship to Railway Results in a Positive Balance at BayerMaterialScience
When Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) changed the transport of polyurethane precursors between its plants in Uerdingen and Brunsbüttel from ship to railway, we, as GATX, could prove our reliability and problem-solving skills by the delivery of tailor-made rail tank cars.
Up to now, the products nitrobenzene and formalin were initially delivered from the Uerdingen chemical park by ship to Rotterdam, where they were reloaded in coasters for the transport to Brunsbüttel. From now on, the products will be filled into rail tank cars in Uerdingen and will then be transported directly to Brunsbüttel, which is almost 500 kilometres away.
The previously used logistics were very complex and costly. With the change, they have become significantly safer, more environmentally sound, more economical and more reliable.
The project team that, together with its staff in Uerdingen, organized and implemented the change of the logistics for polyurethane precursors from ship to rail tank cars. It included representatives from Bayer MaterialScience, Bayer Technology Services, Chemion, GATX and DB Schenker Rail.
Fast, reliable, flexible
"Inter-plant transport is crucial for the functioning of our production," Rudolph von der Heiden, Logistics Buyer at BMS, explains. "Often, large quantities of basic materials must be sent from one location to the other in a fast, reliable and flexible manner. If this does not work, there is the risk that production at the
place of destination must be shut down."
Thanks to close coordination of all parties involved over the entire project phase and the supply of special newly constructed rail tank cars according to schedule, we could make a significant contribution to the success of the project. The results speak for themselves: Costs could be reduced by almost half.
In addition, reliability of supply has increased significantly since transport is no longer dependent on the water level of the Rhine river. And last but not least, the environmental balance has also improved significantly. CO2 emissions could be reduced by approx. 2 500 tons. This is equivalent to the CO2
emissions of more than 1 000 cars with an annual mileage of 15 000 kilometres.
The core element of the new transport logistics for nitrobenzene and formalin to Brunsbüttel: The new rail tank cars.
Special rail tank cars from GATX
"The rail tank cars are like a tailor-made suit that you cannot get off the rack", Stefan Heesen, Key Account Manager at GATX, says. While GATX type 5270 (stainless steel rail tank cars with heating and insulation) is used for formalin, nitrobenzene requires GATX type 2260 (normal steel rail tank cars with heating and insulation). Both rail tank cars are loaded and unloaded fully automatically. This process functions perfectly thanks to the special characteristics of the rail tank cars, like quick and safe connecting by dry coupling, a pneumatic safety device for the bottom valve, a filling level probe and other details.
A point to be stressed during the conversion of the logistics was the inter-plant cooperation of four companies. Logistics service providers Chemion and DB Schenker Rail as well as Bayer Technology Services and GATX were partners in the project. "Cooperation worked excellently. On behalf of our entire team, I wish to thank all parties involved for their great commitment," André Lago, Head of Polyurethane Production MDI in Uerdingen, says.
Nitrobenzene and formalin are required at the Brunsbüttel plant for the production of MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate). Rigid polyurethane foam is produced based on MDI. This is used as insulating material in construction and in refrigerating devices, for example.
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