Inpasa wagon

BRAZIL: Rumo Logística has signed a 10-year agreement with ethanol producer Inpasa Group to operate a ‘rail pipeline’ from Rondonópolis in Mato Grosso state to serve markets in the São Paulo area.

Inpasa has invested around R$100m in the project, acquiring a dedicated fleet of 50 four-axle ethanol tank wagons and two diesel locomotives to handle the traffic. The service will operate over a 1 200 km route from a rail terminal in Rondonópolis to Paulínia, just north of Campinas in São Paulo state. The company says the rail service will save 17 000 lorry trips a year and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 60%.

The ethanol will travel in 1 600 mm gauge corrosion-resistant tank wagons developed and built by Greenbrier Maxion. Made of steel with a ‘low structural alloy’, the wagons have a capacity of 105 000 litres and ride on Motion Control Premium bogies designed for Brazilian track.

Rumo will operate the service for Inpasa for 10 years, after which the concessionaire will be able to use the wagons for up to 30 more years.

Inpasa Brasil’s Commercial Director, Ethanol, Gustavo Mariano Oliveira said that use of the rail service means ‘we are going to optimise the logistical cost and provide more security for transport and delivery to customers’.

Rumo, which has been partnering with Inpasa since 2021, sees the project as ‘another important step towards the company’s growth agenda’. According to Commercial Vice-President Pedro Palma, ‘we are talking about an innovative model that we decided to establish with our partners since 2022. From this joint operation, we will put into operation a business model capable of providing regularity and predictability in Inpasa’s ethanol supply to the regions it serves, and stability and productivity gains for our company.’

The Inpasa service will use the 260 km section of line from Rondonópolis to Alto Araguaia built by Rumo, then known as América Latina Logística, in 2012-13 at a cost of R$880m. Forming part of Rumo’s Malha Norte network, the route is now being extended further north from Rondonópolis to serve Nova Mutum and Lucas do Rio Verde with a branch to Cuiabá; this is known as the Senador Vicente Emilio Vuolo Railway.