Pesa and PKN Orlen, a Polish energy and fuel provider, signed a cooperation agreement to prepare offers to the operators for hydrogen rolling stock, as well as hydrogen refuelling solutions including the needed infrastructure. Both companies have presented at InnoTrans a hydrogen shunting locomotive and a mobile refueling station.
“Thanks to the cooperation of two Polish companies, passenger and cargo carriers can invest in emission-free hydrogen rolling stock, they can order vehicles with hydrogen supply services and provide refuelling infrastructure,” Andrzej Bittel, the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Infrastructure said.
The agreement provides for long-term cooperation between companies which, in line with their strategies, intend to develop hydrogen technologies. Co-ordinated and long-term cooperation will enable the preparation of offers for passenger and freight carriers as well as intermodal operators who intend to invest in hydrogen rolling stock. It is crucial for these potential customers to have access to hydrogen as fuel. This applies to the refuelling stations, the appropriate hydrogen purity, as well as the logistics of its transport from hubs to refuelling stations.
“The railway market is a very attractive for us to implement zero-emission hydrogen fuel. The daily demand of a shunting locomotive is 170 kg of hydrogen, while that of a train as much as 260 kg, which is almost as much as nine buses. Hydrogen is the future of railways, it is a technology that will develop rapidly, and we will be well prepared for this while building our competences in this area,”Józef Węgrecki, Member of the PKN Orlen Management Board for Operations emphasised.
From the point of view of the railway operators, the solution to the issue of hydrogen supply and its refuelling infrastructure is of key importance for the entry into service of rail vehicles powered by hydrogen cells.
“Today, no one is wondering whether hydrogen vehicles will enter the Polish tracks, because it is an inevitable process.In discussions with carriers, we are most often asked exactly how we will solve the issue of hydrogen refuelling.That is why the agreement is so important as it is a clear signal for the market, including the vehicles manufactured by Pesa have an assured supply of hydrogen, Krzysztof Zdziarski, President of Pesa said.
The hydrogen locomotive manufactured by Pesa will enter last homologation tests at Żmigród track test and in 2023 will be put into operation at PKN Orlen production plant in Płock. “At the same time, we are continuing to work on zero-emission passenger vehicles that can be powered by traction and hydrogen cells. Emission-free rail vehicles are one of the elements of the “Green Pesa” programme implemented as part of the 2026+ strategy,” the President of Pesa said.
Orlen is currently implementing its hydrogen strategy as part of its commitment for carbon neutrality. By 2030, the company will invest PLN 7.5 billion (EUR 1.5 billion) and intends that nearly half of the hydrogen is producing to be low- and zero-emission. “Cooperation with PESA Bydgoszcz is another important step in the commercialization of this technology. By making full use of it, we will realistically contribute to the transformation of Polish railways using the latest technologies,” Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN Orlen said.
PKN Orlen is expanding its hydrogen interest in rail market. This year the company signed with Alstom an agreement for the supply of refuelling technology for trains.