Europorte and Avril subsidiary Saipol have agreed to test Oleo100, a B100 type fuel derived from French rapeseed, in commercial transport service.
The three-month trial is scheduled to commence on 6 July, the company added.
Europorte is the rail freight subsidiary of Getlink, a European public company based in Paris.
Saipol will use the fuel for transporting vegetable oils and renewable energy on routes connecting Nogent-sur-Seine and Dunkirk, as well as Nogent-sur-Seine and Sotteville-lès-Rouen.
The trial project seeks to replace some of the Gasoil Non Routier (Non-Road Diesel) used by Europorte's thermal locomotives on the non-electrified sections.
Oleo100 is the first renewable and biodegradable fuel that guarantees the co-production of local plant proteins for livestock feed.
Avril added that substituting diesel with Oleo100 will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% over the entire life cycle of the fuel, from the field to the rail.
In the trial phase, the company expected to cut CO2 emissions by 35 tonnes each week.
First Rail Freight Operator
Europorte will be the first private rail freight operator to use this local alternative in real conditions.
Raphaël Doutrebente, president of Europorte, commented, "Being the first rail freight operator to run with Oleo100 will be a real pride for us because it is fully in line with the group's policy to fight against global warming as well as in the dynamic innovation at the service of its customers while maintaining a high quality of service and safety."
Both companies will analyse the data collected during the experiment to determine the compatibility of Oleo100 as a fuel substitute in the operation of Euro4000 diesel locomotives by Europorte.
Should the trial be successful, Europorte could adopt Saipol's Oleo100 fuel to reduce the group's carbon footprint by around 2,500 tonnes of GHGs (Scope 1 ).