Russian Railways, Sinara Group and RUSNANO to Develop Jointly Hydrogen Fuel Cell Locomotives

04 June 2021

Russian Railways, RUSNANO and the Sinara Group have signed an agreement to cooperate on the development of mainline locomotives using a power plant based on electrochemical hydrogen fuel cells together with lithium-ion batteries.

The document was signed by Oleg Belozerov, CEO and Black Chairman of the Management Board of Russian Railways, Sergey Kulikov, Chairman of the Management Board of RUSNANO Management Company, and Dmitry Pumpyansky, President of the Sinara Group, who were attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Russian Railways will act as a potential customer of locomotives, while the Sinara Group, represented by the Sinara—Transport Machines Machine-building Holding, will be the general contractor. RUSNANO will be represented by subsidiaries and partners and act as a co-contractor in terms of hydrogen fuel cells, energy storage systems based on lithium-ion storage batteries and other innovative technological solutions.

The agreement provides for a whole range of research and development (R&D), the analysis of the necessary infrastructure and the development of the technical requirements for the locomotives, as well as the implementation of a number of activities necessary for the development, production and testing of the vehicles.

The three parties are also interested in the development of mutually beneficial cooperation in the creation of shunting locomotives using a hybrid power plant based on hydrogen fuel cells and domestically produced energy storage units.

“Russian Railways ranks first in the world in terms of energy efficiency in freight transport, according to the International Energy Agency,” said Oleg Belozerov. “The bulk of all work is done on clean energy sources. Russian Railways accounts for less than 1% of Russia’s total volume of greenhouse emissions. From 2025, we plan to purchase only electric locomotives, as well as locomotives operating on alternative energy sources such as natural gas and hydrogen. This will enable us to further reduce the environmental burden on the environment.”

“We see how the environment is setting a new trend for the further development of the entire railway engineering industry. Hydrogen transport in the rail sector can solve the problems of reducing emissions, noise and vibration. According to our estimates, prototypes of mainline and shunting locomotives can be created in 2023-2024,” said Dmitry Pumpyansky, President of the Sinara Group.

“This agreement is an example of creating alliances to share costs and competencies for the development of a promising technological project using alternative fuels. Today, the hydrogen and electric transport sector has very great prospects, so RUSNANO intends to actively develop this area,” said Sergey Kulikov, Chairman of the Management Board of RUSNANO Management Company.

Additional information

Reference

The RUSNANO Group includes the RUSNANO Joint Stock Company, the RUSNANO Management Company and the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs. Thanks to RUSNANO’s investments, there are currently 138 factories and R&D Centers opened in 37 regions in Russia.