Thursday, July 23, 2009

CN notes role in transporting wind turbine components

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Citing its growing role in "green business" opportunities, Canadian National notes it is playing a key role in the transportation of huge windturbine components to northeastern British Columbia. CN Specialized Services (CNSS) says it recently completed the first-ever rail move of twin-pack wind turbine blades from German manufacturer Enercon GmbH and Salco Energy Services Inc. of Calgary. Enercon is a global manufacturer of wind turbine systems; Salco Energy offers wind turbine transport and wind park logistics management. 

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CN says 51 sets of twin-pack blades are being installed in the 102 MW Bear Mountain Wind Park in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. When completed, the Bear Mountain installation will have 34 Enercon E-82 3.0 MW wind turbines that will generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power most of the province's South Peace Region. The project is on schedule to become British Columbia's first fully operational wind park by the end of the year.

CNSS received the wind turbine blades, measuring 135 feet in length, at the Port of Thunder Bay, Ont., in early May, and arranged for rail car modifications forthe move. Six trains were required to transport the equipment from Thunder Bay to Dawson Creek over CN's network. At the receiving end, CNSS provided services for unloading the equipment for transportation to the wind farm.

Dan Bingeman, CN assistant vice-president, said: "The logistics of moving the turbine components were a challenge, but that is what CN and CNSS do best. And we are well positioned to support this important emerging market on accountof our extensive network reach, port connections on three coasts, expertise, and complete transportation solutions."

CN says it serves the main wind farm regions of Canada, from Nova Scotia toBritish Columbia, and also the U.S. Midwest. CN says wind turbine componentsare one of its growing sustainable energy business segments, which include environmentallyfriendly wood pellets for energy generation, biodiesel and ethanol.

"CN, as a railway, can help address the challenge of climate change,"said Bruno Demers, director of marketing for CN. "Rail emits six timesless greenhouse gases (GHG) than heavy trucks. Plus, rail consumes a fractionof the fuel to transport one [metric] ton of freight one kilometer.”