RFG urges ORR – Don’t price biomass off rail
The Rail Freight Group (RFG) has urged the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) not to proceed with proposals to significantly increase charges paid for the moving of biomass by rail.
Responding to the ORR’s ‘Consultation on a freight specific charge for biomass’, RFG highlighted its concerns that introducing a new freight-specific charge could see this traffic priced off rail, and could undermine the case for biomass generation in the UK.
The ORR is proposing to increase charges during the next control period from April 2014. However, the change is too late to be included in the support mechanisms being developed by Government to encourage renewable generation, and risks leaving a funding gap for electricity generators and the rail supply chain.
Maggie Simpson, RFG Executive Director, said: “Biomass is an important new market for rail freight and, with coal volumes set to decline, it is vital to the rail operators long-term business. It will also protect and create new jobs, and encourage investment. ORR must commit to supporting this sector, by not applying this increased charge, and by ensuring that its policies are aligned with Government energy policy.”
RFG’s response can be found at http://www.rfg.org.uk/category/policy/responses
The ORR’s consultation can be found at http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/pr13/consultations/biomass.php