02/10/20 – Transportation / Rail / Sustainability / Waste / Fuels / Geminor / Deutsche Bahn / Europe

New 2,500km rail transport route makes European waste fuels more sustainable
New 2,500km rail transport route makes European waste fuels more sustainable

A co-operation with Deutsche Bahn (DB) marks the start of Geminor’s new transport route of waste fuels through central Europe. The coming shift to rail will cut CO2 emissions to just one-fifth of road transport emissions.

After testing different rail transport solutions since January this year, international recycling company Geminor is officially establishing a new railway route for the transport of baled waste from southern Europe to Scandinavia. The new route is set up to cater for contracts with Danish waste-to-energy operators, which will receive refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and solid recovered fuel (SRF) from northern and central Italy in the coming years.

The new co-operation makes Geminor DB Cargo’s biggest client on waste transport.

2,500km transport route

A total volume of 20 wagons weekly, each carrying approximately 50 tonnes of baled waste, will be transported to Denmark and Sweden via Germany – a total distance of 2500km.

The waste will pass through Geminor’s HUB in Braunsbedra, close to the city of Leipzig. There, the industrial waste will be treated and mixed to low-calorific RDF and high-calorific SRF. The tailor-made fractions will then be baled and transported on to the final destinations in Denmark and Sweden.

Big savings on emissions

Choosing rail transport instead of ship and road transport is a decision based on several factors, said Geminor’s Country Manager for Italy and Germany, Mr Andreas Hefler.

Rail transport is both practical and economical. In addition, data collected from DB shows that rail transport is considerably more sustainable compared to road transport.

Transporting 1,000 tonnes of baled waste from Italy to Denmark by rail – a distance of approximately 2,500 km – leads to emissions of 32 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. In comparison, transporting the same tonnage on trucks leads to a total of 142 tonnes of CO2 emissions. That makes road transport 110 tonnes – or 4.3 times – more polluting than rail transport, advised Mr Hefler.

In the DB emissions data, factors such as diesel production (well to wheel), electric vs. diesel trains (90 per cent factor), shorter distance by road, and total loading capacity is brought into the equation.

The Geminor transport alone is expected to lead to an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of over 5,500 tonnes.


“We are happy to see the new rail route working as planned. This means that we can implement larger projects of waste fuel transport involving countries such as Norway and Austria,” informed Mr Hefler in closing. “The use of more sustainable rail transport will not only make a difference for Geminor, but probably also for the entire industry in the coming years,” he concluded.


Established on Karmøy in Norway in 2004, Geminor has logistic hubs and offices in Scandinavia, Finland, UK, Germany, France, Poland and Italy. The company handled more than 1.4 million tonnes of feedstock last year, and holds contracts with more than 80 waste-to-energy and recycling facilities. The firm has an annual turnover of approximately €120 million.

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