Russian Railways, the Government of Sakhalin Region, Rosatom, and TMH signed a protocol stating that the Sakhalin hydrogen train project is feasible and viable. The conclusion is part of an assessment of the base concept and compressive financial model of the project.
The agreement was signed by the Governor of Sakhalin Oblast Valery Limarenko, the CEO of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov and the CEO of TMH Kirill Lipa, as well as the First Deputy CEO of Rosatom Kirill Komarov.
The partners intend to initiate the necessary arrangements with the federal authorities, financial institutions, and third-party stakeholders to implement the project.
Initially, seven trains will be designed and manufactured and in Sakhalin, a low-tonne production of hydrogen, a network of hydrogen refueling stations and a testing site will be established. In addition, in the oblast the passenger service will be launched.
“The required personnel will be trained and recruited through the island’s own university. Sakhalin Oblast is about to become a leader of the yet new to Russia hydrogen economy. This means tax revenues for the local treasury, high-tech jobs, and preserving the environment. For many Sakhalin and Kuril residents this will create opportunities to become in-demand specialists in a new and promising profession,” Governor of Sakhalin Oblast said.
RZD is prepared to modernise its rolling stock and to acquire innovative, digitalised, environmentally friendly and energy efficient trains. Thus, this partnership is a step forward in this direction, although is “long way ahead before all technological and economic nuances are settled, but there is no doubt we will find a solution, which will be comfortable to everyone. We systematically work on improving environmental compatibility of our rolling stock. Hydrogen trains are not a science fiction anymore, but rather our near future,” Oleg Belozerov explained.
As part of the Sakhalin hydrogen train project, TMH is supporting the acceleration of the project and will work with the government to enlarge its applicability. The manufacturer will significantly invest providing its own engineers and designers that have already completed the technical configuration of train. “We are confident that the success and the upscaling of this project could not only significantly impact the environmental aspect of rail transportation, but also serve as a boost to development of all related technologies,” Kirill Lipa underlined during the signing ceremony.
Rosatom will be responsible for the production and supply of the hydrogen and the refueling infrastructure. According to Kirill Komarov, Rosatom’s “grand hydrogen technologies development programme will determine the company to consider the prospects of using Russian-made technologies for fuel supply of hydrogen trains.”
In 2019, the three companies and the region’s authorities signed an agreement for the design, development and commissioning of Russia’s first hydrogen train. This year, TMH and Rusatom Overseas agreed to develop and apply hydrogen technology in rail transport.