SCT Logistics - Fuel Efficiency Choices
SCT Logistics, the privately-owned freight services company has been at the forefront of sustainable innovation and investment in Australia over the past decade.
Before 2007 SCT did not own any mainline locomotives. Due to the impending sale of SCT Logistics’ locomotive owner’s to their rival Pacific National, SCT had to look at alternative options rather than rely on a competitor to haul its services.
SCT conceived with American company Downer EDI Rail the GT46C ACe locomotive to suit their needs which entailed certain requirements for locomotives passing through the Adelaide Hills. The resulting locomotives are compliant with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 2 Vehicle and Gasoline Sulphur program. In terms of handling capacity, the locomotives can carry approximately 50 percent more containerised freight than traditional locomotives due in part to the adoption of AC traction motors, the first Australian rail company to do so.
These locomotives are now delivering significant reductions in fuel consumption compared to traditional locomotives. SCT has calculated that their locomotive fuel consumption, which represents about 30% of their operating costs, has been reduced by 8% to 10% through the GT46C ACe over their previous operating locomotives. For a return journey between Melbourne and Perth, this represents a reduction in fuel consumption of 8,000-10,000 litres, from an average base of 100,000 litres. This gives savings of in excess of $11,000 per run.
The added haulage power of the AC traction motor also meant that SCT could potentially run fewer locomotives on certain routes. SCT can now operate services through the Adelaide Hills with three locomotives in comparison to the four required previously. SCT are already appreciating the cost savings by virtue of reduced maintenance due to having fewer locomotives performing the same tasks.
Fuel cost savings and increased handling capacities which are now being achieved suggest that the early-adopter challenges are worth the effort, resulting in improved productivity and improved financial performance.
Downer have further demonstrated their confidence in the SCT GT46 ACe locomotive by producing more which are now in operation across Australia with Pacific National, QR National and Whitehaven.
SCT’s investment hasn’t ended there. SCT has since purchased 6 new China Southern Rail locomotives that emit even less greenhouse gases. The locomotives meet strict Australian standards and European IIIA Emission Standards. The locomotive can also run on B20 biodiesel, and this has been extensively tested on SCT’s run hauling iron ore from SA’s Cairn Hill Mine to Port Adelaide.
Continually investing in their operations and utilising the most efficient machinery available, SCT offers one of the most carbon-friendly rail services throughout Australia, and as a result SCT continues to enjoy great environmental and financial benefits.