Release Date:
Release ID: 678

EWS responds to increased market demand and moves 26% more coal in just two months

EWS, Britain’s leading coal haulier, has moved 26% more coal in just two months to meet the requirements of its customers and, with the current high level of demand for coal, this figure is set to increase further. Initiatives to maximise the amount of coal moved on the rail network has guaranteed EWS’s reliability in supplying the electricity generation market.

Press Release

The increased levels of coal moved by EWS coincides with the Office of Rail Regulation publishing the first of its quarterly national rail reviews this week stating that there is a rising demand for freight and passenger services. It claimed that the overall rise in freight moved is due to the steady increase in Anglo-Scottish coal traffic, which is up 19.5% to 8.9 billion net tonne km at the end of Q1 2006/7.

The rise in gas prices has made coal fired electricity generation more competitive and EWS has been responding to the increased demand for coal from electricity generators. During June and July 2006, EWS moved 26% more coal for electricity generation compared with the same months in 2005 and, through running longer trains, which are now carrying an average of 1400 tonnes per train, is set to achieve greater levels over the next few months.

EWS, which runs more than 650 coal trains a week, has the answer to some of the ports, power stations and rail industry capacity issues, as it prepares to launch EWS Energy, its new division focused on the electricity generation market. As pressure increases on the railway system, EWS, with its nationwide capability, has operated longer coal trains of 23 and 25 100-tonne hopper wagons to various power stations, which has created an additional 6 million tonnes of haulage capacity without the need to operate additional trains. Certainty of supply is what the electricity generation market requires and through working closely with its customers to optimise resources and enhance service delivery, EWS has been able to transport maximum levels of coal and continues to respond to current market demands.

David Kerr, EWS Commercial Director said: “We have listened to our customers to understand their changing market requirements and we are delivering greater tonnages of coal today through the skilful use of our current assets and our nationwide capability. EWS has also responded to market dynamics by pioneering and driving stable operating plan options, which have allowed generators to move larger volumes without waiting for further investment and given them stability in an increasingly volatile market.”

Trials of EWS ‘jumbo’ coal trains earlier this year, which consisted of 42 HTA wagons, demonstrated how EWS can maximise loads on every coal train. As EWS Energy is launched, it will continue to develop its capability to transport greater tonnages of coal using dedicated assets, as it pushes industry boundaries to move even longer trains on the network.


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