Carbon-neutral concrete boosts NSW rail infrastructure sustainability

6 October 2021

Construction of the NSW Government Mindyarra Rail Maintenance Centre at Dubbo will be on a strong sustainability footing thanks to Holcim’s carbon neutral concrete.

 
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Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders said using 9,000 cubic metres of carbon neutral concrete to construct the rail maintenance centre is equivalent to taking more than 920 cars off the road for a year.

“The NSW Government is serious about reducing its environmental footprint, so to have Australian-first initiatives trialled in a regional centre like Dubbo is huge,” Mr Saunders said.

To achieve this reduction in carbon emissions, Holcim replaces some of the standard cement used in concrete with industrial by-products like fly ash, blast furnace slag or silica fume to reduce carbon intensity. To reduce net carbon emissions to zero, any remaining embodied carbon from ready-mix concrete is then offset. Holcim offers industry-approved, carbon neutral, ready-mix concrete that is officially certified via the Australian Government’s Climate Active program. 

Holcim CEO George Agriogiannis said developing green solutions is part of Holcim’s strategy to accelerate and lead the transition to more sustainable and innovative building materials for greener construction that support the NSW Government to deliver green infrastructure. 

“Our ready-mix concrete Environmental Product Declaration is an Australian first that creates transparency and confidence on carbon reductions – and more options to make construction projects greener,” Mr Agriogiannis said. 

The 2.8 billion dollar Regional Rail Project will deliver more sustainable logistics infrastructure for the state. The centre will supply 95 per cent of low-voltage power requirements from on-site solar panels and meet 90 per cent of water needs from captured rainwater, bore water and recycled water to reduce demands on potable water supply for the Dubbo area.

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The purpose-built maintenance centre will support the new fleet, stimulate the regional economy and help create sustainable job opportunities and skills. The center will create more than 200 jobs during the construction phase of the project and 50 permanent jobs when operational. 

The 29 new bi-mode trains are an Australian first that will allow the fleet to run on overhead power when operating on the electrified train network. The new trains will be maintained at the centre and replace XPT, XPLORER and Endeavour trains. 

In addition to improved sustainability performance, the new trains will provide improved safety, accessibility, facilities and reliability for customers who travel from many NSW regional centres to Sydney, as well as Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane. The first new trains are expected to be running from 2023, with the full fleet coming into service progressively.