In autumn 2022, several coal-fired power plants previously held in reserve were reactivated across Germany with the goal of ensuring a stable power supply over the winter months after gas deliveries from Russia were halted. The plan has paid off, with DB Cargo making a significant contribution to its success.
Transport service doubled within a short time
The results speak for themselves: Since October 2022, DB Cargo has supplied some 15 German coal-fired power plants with a total of three million tonnes of bituminous coal. To make this extraordinary achievement possible, DB Cargo modernised and reactivated over 1,000 coal wagons, which now transport an average of 30,000 tonnes of coal from the North Sea ports to the power plants daily – twice as much as usual. For the most part, the coal is transferred onto rail in the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The main routes then lead to Saarland and southern Germany. Due to the great importance of these coal deliveries, they are transported via "energy corridors" that give them priority on the rail network.
"No other mode of transport can do this"
"DB Cargo has delivered! Rail freight transport has proven itself a vital and reliable part of our power supply system this winter. Thanks to a lot of hard work, we were able to very quickly double our usual transport volumes in a matter of weeks. No other mode of transport, and no other freight operating company, could have achieved this on such a large scale," says Dr Sigrid Nikutta, Member of the DB Management Board for Freight Transport and CEO of DB Cargo AG, expressing her satisfaction at completing this mammoth task.
Power plants continue to rely on DB Cargo
Currently, the power plants are still being supplied with coal as and when required. Given the present situation on the energy market, experts predict that coal-fired power plants will most likely be needed for the rest of this year. Once again, the rail network and DB Cargo will be called upon to support Germany's power supply.