Transnet Freight Rail issues RFI for alternative energy sources for traction

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Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), a South African rail transport company, has released a Request for Information (RFI) for alternative energy sources for its traction energy loads across all its corridors, nationwide.

TFR seeks to understand how affordable renewable electric energy can be integrated in its traction power supplies to improve energy security and efficiency and reduce its operational impact on the environment.

Primarily the loads which TFR aims to supply on its vast rail network are traction loads, which are intermittent in nature with high peak and short duration demand periods.

TFR appreciates and encourages the inclusion of renewable energy proposals beyond and not limited to only popular market drivers such as solar and wind energy. This includes the incorporation of renewable energy sources such as hybrids of hydroelectric power, biomass, geothermal or other.

TFR intends to embark on a Renewable Energy Power Purchase Program (REPPP) with the aim of diversifying the sources of electric energy utilized in its operations.

The RFI objective is to establish the existing and envisioned renewable energy projects, to assess the potential for electricity wheeling and for joint venture development partnership with private sector for self-generation.

After receiving and reviewing RFI responses, TFR may release Request for Proposals provided that sufficient information is obtained from the RFI submissions.

Transnet is an energy intensive organization utilizing electricity and liquid fuels in its operations. During the 2021/22 financial year, TFR consumed more than 1,800 GWh on traction energy, demonstrating significant potential for inclusion of technically feasible renewable energy sources to the electric traction energy supplies.

Transet noted that responses to the RFI may be localized and need not cover the whole country, corridor, or region. The RFI can be found on the following link