In early April 2020 OVK (UWC) announced that it has signed contract with EvroKhim (EuroChem), one of the leading global producers of mineral fertilizers, for the supply of a batch 14 Model 15-6901 tank wagons mounted on the 25 t axle-load Model 18-9855 bogies. They will be delivered to Azot (part of EvroKhim Group) of Novomoskovsk, near Tula, by the end of the year and will be used for the transportation of concentrated nitric acid.

The 120 km/h wagons are 12,020 mm long over couplings, 2,998 mm wide and 4,667 mm high above rail top. They have a net weight of 24,500 kg, a loading capacity of 75 t and a 54.78 m3 tank. In a view of the highly hazardous nature of the freight, the tank is made from AD0-grade aluminium, which has guaranteed physical characteristics and a performance rating 40 % higher than that of the rolled sheets used in standard wagons. The tank is manufactured using the friction stir welding technique, which has a number of advantages compared to fusion welding. This significantly reduces the likelihood of joint defects, minimises harmful environmental impacts, and increases the joint’s strength and flexibility indicators by 10 % compared to the original state of the material.

The tank and discharge system are airtight, the valve is equipped with a safety membrane, and the wagos uses a modern discharge valve lined with an acid-resistant polymer, ensuring that the freight is safely isolated from the personnel and the environment. The possibility of installing a radar-based level sensor ensures the contact-free, accurate measurement of the tank fill level for a wide range of product temperatures in a chemically active environment. The service life of the Model 15-6901 wagon is 40 years. The bogies enable an increase in the maintenance interval up to 1 million km (or eight years). The wagons will be built at TikhvinKhimMash of Tikhvin.

Boris Myagkov, OVK’s Deputy CEO for Commerce and Marketing: “Tank wagons for concentrated nitric acid are among the most technically advanced products in our portfolio and in fact offer a unique transportation solution for today’s domestic market. OVK acted as wagon developer and manufacturer, while Arkonik SMZ, the largest Russian enterprise manufacturing high-tech semi-finished aluminium products, supplied corrosion-resistant aluminium plates. Sespel, a leading manufacturer of specialized equipment based in Cheboksary, carried out welding work on the tanks."

A fleet dating from the 1980s with 40 m3 tanks and loading capacity of 57.3 t is still being used for the transportation of concentrated nitric acid in the 1,520 mm gauge area. The fleet consists of around 200 wagons and has not been updated a long time, so the wagons are on average 32 years old. Up to 80 % of the fleet is forecast to be decommissioned in the coming years as a result of physical depreciation, the remainder being declared obsolete.