Alstom and energy infrastructure operator Snam have signed an agreement for the development of hydrogen trains in Italy.
The agreement between the two parties will run for five years. An initial phase will be devoted to feasibility studies, which are scheduled to take place in autumn 2020. Following those, the agreement aims to develop railway mobility projects, including hydrogen trains and the associated technological infrastructure, management and maintenance services. This phase is set to start in early 2021.
For its side of the agreement Alstom will manufacture and maintain newly built or converted hydrogen trains. Snam, on the other hand, will develop the infrastructure for production, transport and refuelling.
Both companies have an interest in hydrogen technology, making them natural bedfellows. Alstom has developed the Coradia iLint, the world’s first hydrogen train, which is currently in commercial operation in Germany. Snam has been experimenting with a 10 percent hydrogen injection into the natural gas transportation network.
“This move is a further contribution to the decarbonisation of transport and to the development of hydrogen economy in Italy. Hydrogen produced from renewables will become competitive with fossil fuels in a few years and will play a key role in the energy transition, particularly in industry, heating and heavy transport. It will be a pillar of the European Green New Deal and post-Covid investments. Snam is investing and innovating to make its network compatible with hydrogen, to encourage the development of new technologies and create an Italian supply chain. Our country has the opportunity to be among the world leaders in the sector, reaping the environmental and economic benefits of this climate leadership.”
Alstom managed to develop its hydrogen train in Germany thanks in part to government support. It has since also tested its operation in the Netherlands and is hoping to introduce hydrogen trains in the UK.
“We believe in hydrogen. This is the reason why we have signed a partnership with Snam. Coradia iLint, the first hydrogen-powered train, is already in passenger service between the towns of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremersvörde and Buxtehude in Germany. We hope that Coradia iLint hydrogen trains will soon become a reality in Italy, too. Thanks to a partner like Snam we will be able to respond to the market by offering a full-fledged solution.”
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