Russian Railways to Develop Hydrogen Mainline Trains

Russian Railways, RUSNANO and the Sinara Group signed an agreement to cooperate on the development of mainline locomotives using a power plant based on hydrogen fuel cells together with lithium-ion batteries.

Russian Railways will act as a potential customer of locomotives, while the Sinara Group, represented by the Sinara—Transport Machines Machine-building Holding, will be the general contractor. RUSNANO will be represented by subsidiaries and partners and act as a co-contractor in terms of hydrogen fuel cells, energy storage systems based on lithium-ion storage batteries and other innovative technological solutions.

The agreement provides for a range of research and development (R&D), the analysis of the necessary infrastructure and the development of the technical requirements for the locomotives, as well as the implementation of a number of activities necessary for the development, production and testing of the vehicles.

The three parties are also interested in the development of mutually beneficial cooperation in the creation of shunting locomotives using a hybrid power plant based on hydrogen fuel cells and domestically produced energy storage units.

Russian Railways ranks first in the world in terms of energy efficiency in freight transport, according to the International Energy Agency. The bulk of all work is done on clean energy sources. Russian Railways accounts for less than 1% of Russia’s total volume of greenhouse emissions. From 2025, we plan to purchase only electric locomotives, as well as locomotives operating on alternative energy sources such as natural gas and hydrogen. This will enable us to further reduce the environmental burden on the environment.

—Oleg Belozerov, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of Russian Railways

 

This agreement is an example of creating alliances to share costs and competencies for the development of a promising technological project using alternative fuels. Today, the hydrogen and electric transport sector has very great prospects, so RUSNANO intends to actively develop this area.

—Sergey Kulikov, Chairman of the Management Board of RUSNANO Management Company

Green hydrogen production. During the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum earlier in June, representatives of Enel and RUSNANO had an initial meeting in which they discussed the idea of working together on the production of green hydrogen. The two companies are looking at the possibility of creating Russia’s first green hydrogen production project at a wind farm in Murmansk Region.

The meeting focused on discussions relating to potential collaboration between the two companies in the area of green hydrogen. The companies had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding in which they agreed to consider a project involving the use of renewable energy at the Kola Wind Power Plant (capacity 201 MW), a wind farm operated by Enel Russia on the Kola peninsula in Murmansk region, which is currently being constructed. It will be the largest wind farm in the Russian Arctic, and will be able to generate 750 GW/h of electricity a year, representing a reduction of 600,000 tons in CO2 emissions. It will have 57 turbines, spread out over an area of 257 hectares.

Source: Green Car Congress.

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