Increase of the export potential of food products is a priority development area of the Russian economy. The fact that the products of the agroindustrial complex (AIC) are raw materials for export trade actually similar to hydrocarbons is a topic of growing disputes in the market.
In accordance with the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation “On the National Goals and Strategic Objectives of the Development of the Russian Federation for the Period up to 2024”, a goal has been set to create a highly productive export-oriented sector in the agroindustrial complex, primarily represented by goods of advanced processing, and achieve a volume of exports of AIC products at the level of $45 billion in terms of value by 2024.
Presently, the grain harvest and production of its processing products − vegetable oils and starch products − are both steadily growing in Russia. For instance, approximately 70 food ingredients and byproducts can be produced from starch. Russia is an attractive exporter of food products for many countries interested in such cargo as starch, amino acids, molasses and other food ingredients. According to experts, the development of grain processing should become one of the primary areas of development of the Russian agroindustrial complex in the upcoming years.
In order to enter international markets, domestic enterprises should not only produce high-quality products, but also ensure safety of goods during transportation. Food products, especially starch-containing goods, are difficult to transport. Stringent health and safety regulations and certain features of the physical and chemical properties of the goods have a serious impact on the logistics operations. The ingress of any external contaminating factors should be excluded during transportation, as such cargo easily absorb foreign odors from the environment and are subject to the fermentation and molding process, which directly impacts product quality.
Today, the major potion of rail shipments of starch products in Russia is conducted using rolling stock made of ferrous metals, which often cannot ensure cargo safety and results in changes in its physical and chemical properties. In many regions of the world (in Europe, North and Latin America, Africa and countries on the Pacific Rim), requirements for the transportation of starch-containing goods are more stringent than in Russia. It primarily concerns steel being the material of the transportation vessel. Currently, the Government of the Russian Federation more frequently addresses the issues of tightening the rules for food cargo transportation - in particular, a mandatory transition to rolling stock equipped with a boiler made of food grade stainless steel instead of ferrous metal. And the implementation of these solutions has already started on Russian railways. The new rolling stock will ensure the quality and transportation safety of the products, and increase the demand for domestic food products both in foreign and domestic markets.
Thus, the UWC Holding has developed and already submitted for certification testing a tank car for transportation of molasses and vegetable oils model 15-6900-04. All-Union Research and Development Centre for Transportation Technology acted as an R&D center, and TikhvinChemMash − as a production facility (both companies are part of the UWC).
One of the key advantages of the UWC tank car is the unique boiler design. It is made of stainless steel and undergoes special complex processing (both mechanical and chemical) of its inner surface in accordance with the strict requirements of international standards for food cargo transportation. This ensures preservation of the quality of transported goods, including those ready for use.
The list of food cargo transported by the tank car model 15-6900-04 includes approximately 30 items – starch products and vegetable oils. At the same time, the car ensures maximum unloading of even viscous cargo in various temperature conditions due to a boiler with a “bent” axle and a heating system - an external steam jacket with a unique design.
An increased body volume and capacity (56 m3 and 74.4 tons, respectively) enable maximum use of the technical capabilities of the tank car, ensuring an almost 7−10 tons higher loading than that of equivalent cars. This difference in loading allows to reduce the required car fleet to 10%.
A significant competitive advantage of the tank car is an mileage interval between repairs increased up to 1 mln km1 ensuring an almost threefold reduction in the life-cycle cost of the railcar. The car for molasses transportation is fully compatible with the current infrastructure and can be operated at all types of loading and unloading terminals.
Operation of the tank model 15-6900-04, which is new for the 1520-mm gauge area, will ensure maximum efficiency of food cargo transportation, while maintaining the quality of cargo and increasing the competitiveness of domestic producers.
1. To be updated following the monitored operation results.