The wonder of winery waste

The wonder of winery waste

The FINANCIAL -- The vineyards of Bordeaux are doubtless best known for the fine wines they produce. But they are getting things right in more ways than one. With grape marc, the residue produced in the wine-making process, being used to make biofuel, transport operator Citram Aquitaine is running the ED95-driven Scania’s Interlink LD Euro 6 bus between Bordeaux and Blaye.

Citram Aquitaine is a transport operator for our times, committed to sustainable methods of energy transition. In an experimental bid to move away from fossil-free transport, it is now testing Scania’s Interlink LD Euro 6 bus on its intercity 201 route between Bordeaux and Blaye: a vehicle adapted to long-distance travel which is powered by bioethanol produced by Raisinor France Alcools.

The environmentally sound bus is hard to miss, with the proud message “I run on bioethanol produced from grape marc” emblazoned on its side.

Partnership for the planet

The collaboration between Scania and Citram is enabled by the key contribution of Raisinor France Alcools, which supplies the biofuel required to run the experiment. In a bold and ambitious move, Raisinoor has brought together the French wine cooperatives, with Union Coopératives Vinicoles d’Aquitaine (UCVA) producing 100,000 tonnes of grape marc every year on its site at Coutras in the Gironde department, which is in the Bordeaux wine-making region.

Citram on sustainability

Established in 1921 as a private company, Citram has been the main passenger transport company in the Gironde department for years.

As the trailblazer of cutting-edge coaches offering services such as Wi-Fi, electrical sockets, and on-board TV, Citram is now busy thinking about a sustainable methods of energy transition.

Commitment to alternative energy at a cost

A vehicle running on ED95 consumes more because the energy output of ethanol is half that of diesel, and it is more expensive to buy compared with a diesel vehicle: “To cause less pollution, we must accept the bill,” says Raud. “Reappraising our fleet of vehicles by investing in alternative energy can only be done with the support of the region, and we know that the region views this approach favourably. It is up to us to suggest an economically acceptable energy mix.