ENGIE, a leader in the zero-carbon transition, successfully refueled a hydrogen passenger train in a pilot test in the Northern Netherlands that took place between February 27 and March 11.
testing of Coradia iLint, the world’s first renewable hydrogen
passenger train, is led by the Netherlands’ province of Groningen, and
jointly conducted with Alstom, a French multinational in rail
transport, Arriva, a local train operator, ProRail, a Dutch railway
infrastructure agency, and DEKRA, an independent testing organization.
train is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which produces electrical
power for traction. It emits only water and steam during operation,
representing a clean alternative for the regional government looking to
replace diesel fleets on non-electrified lines and meet their zero
carbon emission objectives. In the Netherlands, the rail network is
about 1,000 km of non-electrified railway lines. Around 100 diesel
trains are currently running on these lines daily. With the common goal
to develop zero-carbon transport, this joint project aims to
demonstrate that the hydrogen fuel cell is an ideal technology to
achieve clean rail transport.
The train tests without
passengers were conducted on the 55-km railway between Leeuwarden and
Groningen, at up to 140 km per hour. During the test, ENGIE supplied
renewable hydrogen and operated the mobile refueling station.
Energystock, affiliate of Gasunie, a gas transport and storage
infrastructure company, provided their conversion services to make
renewable hydrogen available.
As of today, ENGIE successfully
refueled the train six times. The pilot test is the first step to
scaling up. Hydrogen trains could be introduced in the Netherlands as
early as 2024. ENGIE and Alstom will continue to collaborate to develop
renewable hydrogen trains in the Netherlands.
Michèle Azalbert, CEO of ENGIE’s Hydrogen Business Unit :
“This pioneering project embodies our vision that renewable hydrogen is the missing link to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon world. With this experience in the railway environment in the Netherlands, ENGIE reinforces its leading position in the development of industrial-scale renewable hydrogen solutions”
of this pilot test enables us to scale up the solution to support the
Northern Netherlands local governments’ zero-emission goal for public
transport, and further expand the solution to other countries and
regions where hydrogen trains are being deployed, such as France.”
To meet the need for large quantities of renewable hydrogen to scale up, ENGIE and its partner Gasunie are working on a joint large-scale hydrogen project in Groningen called HyNetherlands, in which ENGIE develops the electrolyzer and Gasunie the required infrastructure. This project can provide renewable hydrogen for full fleet conversion of regional diesel passenger trains to that of hydrogen, and support the Northern Netherlands to decarbonize the railway sector and other industries such as the chemical industry in the region.