Metafrax orders 100 methanol tank cars from UWC

Research and Production Corporation “United Wagon Company” (“UWC” or the “Holding”) (MOEX: UWGN) will deliver 100 new generation tank cars (model 15-6880) to Metafrax, a leading Russian producer of methanol by May 2019.

This is not the first time that Metafrax has acquired 15-6880 tank cars from UWC. The methanol producer currently has more than 400 1-T and Tpr tank cars in its rolling stock fleet. The decision to buy another lot of these cars from UWC was driven by their good operating performance.

The 15-6880 car equipped with a 25-tf bogie has an enhanced loading capacity of 73 tons and a tank capacity of 88 m3. These features allow for up to 2 tons of additional load per car compared to that of most rail cars currently used on Russia’s railway network while keeping the length of the tank within standard limits, which renders methanol transportation more efficient. A train of 80 UWC cars can carry 160 tons more of cargo than a train formed of non-UWC cars, which reduces both the size of the tank car fleet required for transportation and the cost of terminal operations.

A protective cap on the tank valves and manhole cover allows for easy operation and protects the cargo from unauthorized access during transportation. The tank has a bent axis design for maximum drainage.

Extended maintenance intervals (up to 1 million km of mileage or 8 years of operation) are an important competitive advantage of the 15-6880 tank car slashing the lifecycle costs by as much as almost three times. The service life of the car is 32 years compared to 24 years for analogues.

Igor Chukreyev, Head of the Metafrax Transportation Directorate, said:

“The business development strategy of our company targets major production and sales increases by 2030. Our investment budget specifically includes the cost of transport infrastructure improvement and phased renewal of the railway fleet. Metafrax chooses methanol tank cars made by UWC owing to their high-level performance.”

The 15-6880 tank car developed by the All-Union Research and Development Centre for Transportation Technology has been manufactured at the TikhvinChemMash plant since 2016. Experts estimate methanol tank cars to be in a very high demand in the next five years due to massive write-downs of old rolling stock and increasing production capacities of chemical enterprises: there are some 20 projects presently on the way in Russia set to produce an aggregate of over 20 million tons of methanol annually.