Tarmac is committed to renewable fuel as part of its campaign for the sustainable development of rail freight


Tarmac and its rail freight partner DB Cargo UK have announced that the delivery of construction materials on a key strategic route will be powered entirely by 100% renewable fuel.

The partners have confirmed that the environmentally friendly hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) will power all freight trains running between Tarmac’s Mountsorrel site in Leicestershire and its rail-fed asphalt plant in central Birmingham, as part of an ongoing commitment to support the sustainable achievement of the UK’s infrastructure ambitions.

HVO is one of the greenest fuels commercially available today and is produced synthetically by hydrotreating vegetable oils or animal fats, which dramatically reduces the amount of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. emitted when used in diesel engines.

Previous tests by DB Cargo UK have estimated that up to 90% of a train‘s carbon emissions can be eliminated by using HVO fuel compared to traditional red diesel.

Chris Swan, Rail Manager at Tarmac, said: “We are constantly looking to explore and adopt new innovations that support efficient and sustainable delivery, allowing us to move the right materials to the right place for customers. Developing our capacity and rail freight capacity is critical to our operations and aligns with the national agenda to create a low carbon built environment.

“As the fight to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution intensifies, rail freight becomes increasingly important to our industry and the adoption of new sustainable fuels will further help reduce emissions. “

Roger Neary, Sales Director of DB Cargo UK, said: “We are delighted that Tarmac has accepted the exclusive use of HVO fuel on this key strategic route, which will result in a significant reduction in our own carbon emissions and those of our clients.

“Rail freight is already a much greener alternative to road transport. Therefore, further reducing our carbon footprint will, I hope, force companies to re-evaluate their own transportation strategies. If they want to reduce their own carbon emissions, then rail freight is the obvious choice over road.

In line with its legally binding national commitments, the UK government has set the rail industry goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Tarmac’s continued development of its rail freight capabilities is part of the company’s broader commitment to reduce CO emissions2 from transport to the whole company.

The company is one of the UK’s largest users of rail freight and currently transports over nine million tonnes of building material by rail across the UK each year, helping to reduce emissions carbon emissions from road vehicle movements.


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