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The fish bites on the container

Why in the Far East to organize the production of refrigerated containers

The Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia will develop the production of refrigerated containers necessary for the transport of fish from the Far East. Demand for this rolling stock is growing due to the retirement of railcars. Why should the Far East have new freezers and where can they be produced, found out EastRussia.

The fish bites on the container
Photo: shutterstock
On the network of railways, the number of car parks suitable for the transport of perishable goods, including fish, is reduced. Due to the aging of the refrigerator sections (1975-1990 years of construction) last year, compared to five years ago, their average availability on the Far Eastern mainline decreased almost threefold. As a consequence, the share of seafood loading in refcontainers is growing. Almost half of all Pacific fish in rail transport are currently loaded in this type of rolling stock. For the nine months of 2017, 432,7 thousand tons of fish products were shipped from the stations of the Far Eastern Railway.

Today, on the network of Russian Railways, the working fleet of refrigerated containers is about 5 thousand units. It is also gradually decommissioning, as most are used. Usually refcontainers (similar manufacture in Russia while is not present) are got in China. As a rule, operators buy supported, but cheaper "refs" than new ones, which, moreover, are heavily taxed.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the projected retirement by service life of the refcontainer fleet will be 250-300 units per year. The department within the framework of the concept of import substitution initiated a project for the development and introduction of a refrigerated container, which meets the requirements of the technical regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union "On the safety of fish and fish products". The document came into force on 1 September 2017.

For domestic manufacturers of refcontainers Minpromtorg provides subsidies up to 50 million rubles. It is assumed that the Russian product will appear next year. The first steps in this direction have already been made. In particular, JSC Altayvagon together with LLC SibirVostokBiznes and LLC Linda Gas Rus (Russian subsidiary of Linde Group) has developed a refrigerator car with a dual cooling and floor heating system. The prototype was presented at the International Railway Equipment and Technologies Expo 1520 in August this year. The enterprise is ready to produce up to 400 such containers annually.

They intend to release refs, albeit in an assembly version, in the Far East. The company "Gulf Vostok", which is a resident of the free port of Vladivostok, plans to open an enterprise for the assembly of refrigerated containers in Artem. The volume of the declared investments is 26 million rubles. The project partner is the Chinese CIMC, which will arrange the supply of components. Its Qingdao plant has already built ten new container buildings. “New technologies have been used in the manufacture, which made it possible to increase the thermal insulation properties of the container without increasing the weight,” says Elena Snurnitsyna, General Director of Gulf Vostok LLC. “The hull design has successfully passed all power tests, air and heat leakage control, and tests for operation at low temperatures.”

The final products will be tested for obtaining documents for international class and security of transportation by any mode of transport. Here it is necessary to solve the problem with the refrigeration unit, which is an important element of the refcontainer. Similar units are also produced only abroad - in the US, China, Malaysia. To date, Gulf East has interacted with cooler manufacturers such as Thermoking, Carrier, Starcool, Daikin. At the same time, the latter "Gulf Vostok" plans to develop a remote control system. It will allow you to obtain on-line information about the location of the container, its state, temperature inside the "refa", and also to remote start and stop the refrigeration unit.

Meanwhile, for refrigerated containers, which are usually transported as part of couplings (they consist of several fitting platforms), diesel-generator cars that feed them on the way are needed. The release of such equipment must also be established. In the current year, the company "Tvema" in conjunction with JSC "Tver Carriage Works" built the first 4 wagon-generator, which is supposed to be done serially for the railways.

Russian operators are talking about their readiness to renew their refrigerated container fleet. According to the Association of Refrigerated Rolling Stock Owners, the demand of operator companies is estimated at up to 1 containers annually. This figure, apparently, is not final. Currently FSUE "Natsrybresurs" is initiating a project to create the company "Natsryblogistic" to optimize the process of transporting seafood to the end consumer. Moreover, all stages of the fish route - from the ship to a refrigerated container or refrigerated warehouse, delivery to the territory of "dry" terminals and further - will be carried out in strict compliance with the requirements of the new temperature regime (up to -32 degrees) for refrigerated transport.
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