Next year, the operator plans to enter the Polish market and continue investing in green projects
GRAMPET Group, the largest railway group and private logistics operator in Romania and South-Eastern Europe, concludes a year of consolidation at regional level, in which the focus has been on investments in energy efficiency, innovation and sustainability projects.
“2021 was an important, going-back-to-normal year, which confirmed the path for growth in the years to come. Designated the European Year of Rail, 2021 coincided with the 20th anniversary of our flagship company, Grup Feroviar Român. At the same time, it is the year we first became the number 1 freight railway operator in Romania, with the largest local market share,” says Gruia Stoica, President of GRAMPET Group – Grup Feroviar Român.
Despite the structural challenges in the industry and the ongoing health crisis, the Group completed its investment plan set up at the beginning of the year (over RON 78 million, the equivalent of approximately EUR 16 million). The investment programs will continue next year, with a slightly higher allocated budget (RON 80 million).
The most important project at local level was the completion of the first train built entirely by Electroputere VFU Pașcani, which thus makes its debut on the new railway vehicle constructions segment. The train is already under process of being EC certified. In numbers, the project is the result of 7 years of work by a team exceeding 180 Romanian specialists, with 60% of its necessary equipment being provided by Romanian manufacturers; so far, the producer has successfully tested over 95,000 parameters in Romania. Once certified, the train could enter passenger transport circuit in the country and abroad, in the first part of 2022.
“2021 was also a year of consolidation at regional level,” Gruia Stoica continues. “In February, we entered the Slovenian market by launching operations of Train Hungary – Ljublijana Branch. At the same time, we kicked off an EUR 14-million investment program for the modernization and refurbishment of the Debrecen Vagongyár plant in Hungary. A few days ago, we signed a preliminary contract for the acquisition of a company in Ganz, Austria, where we are already present in the logistics segment, through Grampetcargo Austria. In addition, we hope that next year we will begin operations in Poland, which is one of the largest and most competitive market in Central and Eastern Europe. We have already reached an agreement for taking over a company in this country.”
Operating in ten European countries, the international division of GRAMPET Group generates approximately 30% of its annual turnover, and growth prospects are very good in the long run.
GRAMPET Group is the first 100% Romanian multinational, having expanded in Bulgaria (2004), Hungary (2005), Moldova Republic and Germany (2010), Austria and Slovakia (2012), Croatia (2016), Serbia (2018), Greece (2019), and Slovenia (2021). As global supply chains reconfigure and Europe designs huge infrastructure plans, the Group remains keen to expand further in the region, in countries like Macedonia, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
At the same time, the GRAMPET Group has accelerated projects aimed at improving its companies’ energy efficiency and reducing its environmental footprint.
“Rail transport produces the lowest percentage of greenhouse gas emissions due to the high degree of electrification (1.6% vs. 73% in the case of road transport). It is, therefore, the most sustainable means of transport and, not by chance, the central pillar of the European Union’s vision for a green future,” Gruia Stoica underlines. “However, we can further reduce the environmental impact of rail transport. We are actively looking into this and dedicate significant resources to identify effective and sustainable solutions.”
The latest investments in this area include:
- An extensive green project carried out on the RAFO Onești platform, where member company Roserv Green Energy will develop a photovoltaic park spread over 200 hectares, a bioethanol plant (a 100% bio and renewable energy source), a lithium-ion batteries plant and a facility for the production of green hydrogen.
- Testing of a 100% non-polluting locomotive with batteries produced by Reloc Craiova. Depending on its operating behavior, GFR could decide to use this type of locomotive for shunting activities on a large scale.
- An investment program for the repowering of 1,250 HP diesel-hydraulic shunting locomotives, both according to a concept fully developed by GFR but also according to one developed by Reloc Craiova.
- Renewal of the GFR fleet with 1,200 high-capacity (85 m3) Zacs tank wagons, which comply with the Technical Interoperability Regulation. These wagons, whose total value exceeds EUR 100 million, are built by Reva Simeria, part of the GRAMPET Group.
- Continuation of the digitization process, through the development and implementation of revolutionary solutions for the railway transport industry in Romania and in South-Eastern Europe. This year, the digital division of the Group launched ETA Expert (the first digital service providing real time estimations of trains’ arrival at destination) and TRASA Expert (an information system aimed at improving the design of ideal train paths and the capacity allocated to freight trains).
About GRAMPET Group
Established more than 20 years ago, GRAMPET is today the largest private rail freight and logistics operator in Romania and Southeast Europe. Its 16-company structure is strategically designed to span the entire chain of rail transport solutions and products, thus offering clients an integrated experience at the highest level of competence: freight railway transport, building, repairs and upgrading of rolling stock, spare parts production, lease of rolling stock, freight transhipment, logistic services, as well as innovative IT solutions for railway operators.
Its flagship company Grup Feroviar Român (GFR) is one of the main rail freight operators in Romania and Southeast Europe. Currently, over 20% of traffic is international, with GFR offering complex logistic solutions to rail sector customers. GFR is a member of all representative international organizations and has cooperation agreements with both state railway operators (BDZ Cargo, UZ, CFM, PKP Cargo, ZK, RCH, HZ Cargo, ZBIH) and private railway operators from Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, and Germany.
The Group’s companies Reva Simeria, Electroputere VFU Pascani, Reloc Craiova, and Electroputere VFU Craiova account for an important share of the Romanian rolling stock repairing market.
In parallel, the group carries out an intense activity of research and development of technical solutions meant to offer clients a transparent and real-time experience of services to which they have access. Thus, the GRAMPET Group launched an e-client portal for the first time in Romania, which facilitates the management of relations with client companies, from placing an order to invoicing.
Its subsidiary Roserv Oil, which took over the industrial platform of the RAFO Onești refinery in the summer of 2020, focuses on the national development of logistics terminals both on the container side and warehouses for petroleum products.