As part of this process, the current diesel gensets that currently power the locomotives will be replaced with a zero-emission powertrain powered by a polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cell.

This will provide zero-emission power for the train and help decarbonise the rail transportation sector.

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The partnership is planned in two phases with an initial prototype of a fuel cell locomotive planned to be constructed by the end of 2022.

In the second phase of the project, the parties intend to convert an additional 40 locomotives to fuel cell with each train set to save 370 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

Rainer Küngas, Chief Technology Officer at Stargate Hydrogen, said, “Retrofitting ageing diesel locomotives to zero-carbon alternatives is already an economically sustainable solution and will be even more so in the future.

“Retrofitting also allows the reuse of existing diesel-electric locomotives that would otherwise end up as stranded assets once they no longer meet future emission standards.”

Raul Toomsalu, Chairman of the Management Board at Operail, said, “Operail has focused its activities on environmental sustainability. In Estonia, this is achieved via electrification of the main railway lines, but this does not resolve the issue of emissions in shunting operations.

“The team at Stargate Hydrogen has outstanding international experience and world-class technological capabilities, while our professionals at the Tapa depot have the skills and knowledge for building modern locomotives.

“As a result of this collaboration, we can offer innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions in all our target markets.”

US DOE, General Motors, Microsoft and Plug Power

What does the US Department of Energy (DOE), General Motors, Microsoft and Plug Power have in common? They’re all speaking at H2 View’s North American Virtual Hydrogen Event in October. Will you be joining us on October 19?

North America is in a prime position to lead efforts in decarbonisation, but it still has great distances to travel. The region has been giving chase in a race to green hydrogen dominated by Europe and Asia-Pacific. If policymakers and industry can work together and take the right steps to realise a hydrogen vision, the region is perfectly placed to expand its global energy leadership at scale and speed.

What lessons can be learned from Europe’s policymakers? What are the challenges to be overcome? What are the strengths and opportunities? How can North America go from giving chase to taking a lead in hydrogen? These are all questions our virtual event will address across H2 View’s four pillars of Mobility, Power, Policy and Technology.

Further information on the event, agenda and confirmed speakers can be found here.

To book your virtual delegate pass, click here.