OREANDA-NEWS. LOTOS Kolej, a Grupa LOTOS S.A. subsidiary, has launched rail freight operations in Germany, a very promising market for the carrier.

With the launch of German operations, LOTOS Kolej is introducing to the market a comprehensive range of rail transport services on routes between Poland and Germany.

LOTOS Kolej could launch its German operations after having obtained Part B of the Safety Certificate for Germany.

“It took us several years to analyse the feasibility of entering into the German rail freight market. We carefully planned our every step and today we are glad to be able to run the first train that will carry cargo from Poland directly to a customer in Germany”, says Henryk Gruca, LOTOS Kolej CEO. “Our decision to enter the competitive German market was primarily driven by our customers’ expectations. LOTOS Kolej meets these expectations, improving its ability to successfully compete with other modes of transport such as road and sea.

The rail freight services in Germany will be provided using TRAXX Bombardier electric multi-system locomotives operated by LOTOS Kolej.

LOTOS Kolej also transports cargo to terminals on the borders with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Belarus. The company is planning to launch a rail freight service to the border with Lithuania, which will help it expand its service network along the East-West corridor.

It should be noted that the Management Board of Grupa LOTOS S.A. plans to carry out an IPO of LOTOS Kolej shares. The company should be ready to go public in Q4 2016. The exact timetable and method of floatation will depend on the results of detailed analyses and on the situation on the capital market.

LOTOS Kolej is the most technologically advanced rail carrier in Poland. In 2014, the company transported 10.6m tonnes of cargo. The plan for this year is to move over 12m tonnes of cargo. The carrier’s current share in the Polish market (by tonne-kilometres) is just under 10%.

Every day, LOTOS Kolej runs several hundred freight trains moving cargo in Poland and more than a dozen trains hauling cargo to border terminals. The carrier has branches in Poland and in Frankfurt (Oder).