Ural Mining Metallurgical Company (UMMC), one of the top Russian producers of major commodities including copper, zinc, coal and precious metals, has signed a number of contracts with United Wagon Company (UWC) (MOEX: UWGN), to supply tank cars for transport of sulphuric acid by rail. Three UMMC production subsidiaries – Sredneuralsk Copper Smelter (SUMZ), Mednogorsk Copper and Sulfur Plant (MMSK) and Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant (CZP) ─ will take delivery of 73 tank cars from UWC by the end of January 2019.
The contracts call for the delivery of 30 new generation 15-9545 model tank cars to MMSK, 26 to CZP and 17 to SUMZ. The tank cars compare favorably with analogues on the market by technical and commercial parameters, reducing maintenance costs throughout the life cycle of the freight car and providing tariff savings for empty mileage per ton of cargo.
The Tikhvin tank cars for transportation of sulphuric acid offer superior payload capacity (up to 77 tons, instead of 62–69 tons) and superior loading capacity (gains of up to 12%) compared with standard analogues. The improvements are thanks to strengthening of bogies (axle load is 25 tf) and enlarged tank volume (44 m3 versus 39 m3 for analogues).
Technical features of the car include bent axis of the tank to enable full drainage of the product. In the assembly of the tank-car tank support there has been applied the gasket made from high-molecular-weight polyethylene. This polyethylene is more resistant to aggressive media when compared to wood (counterpart tank cars have such wooden gaskets). Нatches are fitted with a fluoroplastic sealant, which is highly resistant to aggressive media, and are equipped with two nozzles: for loading of sulphuric acid and for gas removal. A flexible metal sleeve, hermetically attached to the second nozzle, is for removal of sulphur dioxide at depot degassing installations.
The tank car’s run distance before the first depot overhaul is up to 1 mln km (or 8 years) against 210,000 km (2 years) for many cars currently in use. Service life of the Tikhvin’s tank cars is 18 years.
The new contracts are the second success in a row achieved by UWC in railcar tenders by UMMC during the last two years: UWC has already delivered tank cars for sulphuric acid to two UMMC production subsidiaries, Sredneuralsk Copper Smelter and Svyatogor. The new contracts will bring the total number of UWC cars in the UMMC fleet to over 100.
A UMMC representative said that the company is committed to building a closed technology chain and that rolling stock for the transportation of raw materials and finished products is a vital link in that chain. Cooperation with UWC is strengthening UMMC’s transport capabilities and making them more efficient.
The 15-9545 model tank cars were designed by the All-Union Research and Development Centre for Transportation Technology and will be built at the TikhvinChemMash (both companies are parts of UWC). The model has been a part of the UWC’s product line since 2015.