Infrastructure Minister inaugurates new forest products terminal in Malungsfors
In Sweden, a new forest products railway terminal in Malungsfors along a reopened railway line in the Dalarna region was officially inaugurated by the Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth.
"By moving timber and forest fuel transports from truck to rail, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions while reducing transport costs. It benefits both the environment and our members," says Fredrik Munter, CEO of Mellanskog and one of the terminal owners.
Västerdala Terminal och Järnvägsspår AB (Västerdala Terminal), as the new terminal is called, is jointly owned by Mellanskog, Malung-Sälen municipality, Fiskarhedens Trävaru AB, Lima Besparingsskog, Transtrands Besparingsskog, and Malungs Jordägare.
The opening of the terminal is fully in line with Mellanskog’s long-term strategy to streamline our transport operations and increase our ability to reach more industrial customers. By moving timber and forest fuel transports from truck to rail, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions while reducing transport costs. It benefits both the environment and our members, said Fredrik Munter, CEO of Mellanskog.
Cooperation bears fruit
Since 2014, work has been ongoing on the renovation of the Västerdalsbanan railway line on the Rågsveden-Malungsfors section along with the construction of a transshipment terminal, Västerdala Terminal, in Malungsfors.
The upgraded Västerdalsbanan enables forest owners to transport timber and provides opportunities for companies in the municipality and region to develop and increase their production. The development of Västerdalsbanan has been a collaboration between the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket), the Malung-Sälen municipality and the business community.
We are renovating the railway and replacing the worn facility at an increased rate. Both municipalities and the business sector and the transport industry have asked for the opportunity to drive traffic on the Västerdalsbanan and now it is possible, said Lena Erixon, Director General of the Swedish Transport Administration.
An important prerequisite was the funding of approximately SEK 22 million (≈ EUR 2.04 million) provided by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) within the framework of the so-called “Climate-Step” (Klimatklivet) green investment programme.
This will be an important part, both for the energy transition to fossil-free transport that is ongoing and for the development of society because now the opportunity will be to run climate-smart trains loaded with sawn timber, woodchip, and other things, said Hans Unander, Council Chairman in Malung-Sälen municipality.
The opening of the terminal in Malungsfors will be of great benefit to industry and forest owners in the Västerdalarna region and is expected to contribute to an annual reduction of 7 500 truck transport movements along the famous Vasaloppsvägen’s route thus reducing fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 8 000 tonnes.
The terminal is a collaborative project that fits well with the forest owner’s idea: Together we are strong! We are very pleased with how the cooperation within Västerdala Terminal och Järnvägsspår AB worked and what we have managed to achieve together, remarked Fredrik Munter.