Iberdrola will Promote Green Hydrogen on the Apennine Railway Axis, in Italy

By August 24, 2021 4   min read  (764 words)

August 24, 2021 |

Fuel Cells Works, Iberdrola will Promote Green Hydrogen on the Apennine Railway Axis, in Italy

Iberdrola has signed a framework agreement (MOU , Memorandum of Understanding) with AECOM -world leader in the infrastructure sector-, Ancitel Energia e Ambiente -a company specialized in the sustainable development of territories- and Cinque International -a company active in the implementation of solutions related to the use of green hydrogen – for the development of the green hydrogen conversion project of the Apennine railway axis that connects Sansepolcro (Arezzo) with Sulmona (L’Aquila), in Italy.

In Summary

  • It will collaborate with AECOM, Ancitel Energia e Ambiente and Cinque International in this project, shortlisted within the framework of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, which will revitalize depopulated and deindustrialized areas after the earthquakes of 2009, 2016 and 2017
  •  The plan includes, among other projects, the development of the Railway of the Two Seas, which would make Rome the first capital in the world to have green hydrogen-powered trains
  •  Iberdrola develops ambitious green hydrogen initiatives in Europe -in countries such as Spain, the United Kingdom and now Italy-, as well as in the United States and Brazil

This transport line, over 300 km long, is strategic for connecting the inland areas of Italy, which runs through Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio and Abruzzo, passing through Perugia, Terni, Rieti and L’Aquila. The line is partially without electrification and is used by diesel trains that have reached the end of their useful life: the switch to green hydrogen energy will drastically reduce costs compared to traditional electrification and will bring innovation and development to areas subject to depopulation and deindustrialization.

The framework agreement also includes an evaluation of the technical feasibility of the development of the cross-line Ferrovia dei Due Mari (Two Seas Railway), powered by green hydrogen, which would connect the Fiumicino airport and Rome with San Benedetto del Tronto through Rieti, Amatrice and Ascoli Piceno, which would make Rome the first capital in the world to have trains powered by green hydrogen.

The conversion initiatives are part of the integrated and sustainable project for the revitalization of the central Apennines, promoted by AECOM, Ancitel Energia e Ambiente and Cinque International. The development project focuses on the use of hydrogen-powered electric trains as a lever to attract productive investments in the areas affected by the earthquakes of 2009, 2016 and 2017, which in recent years have suffered depopulation and economic decline, phenomena aggravated by the spread of the pandemic. At the center of the initiative is the use of new technologies in the field of energy and the environment, with a prominent role of green hydrogen, from renewable sources.

Lorenzo Costantini, Iberdrola Country Manager in Italy, declared “the opportunity to put our skills at the service of this ambitious project that, in addition to having a significant environmental impact, also aims to have a significant economic and social impact, supporting affected areas due to seismic events in recent years “.


The Sansepolcro – Sulmona hydrogen railway project has already passed several phases: in 2019 it was presented to the Hydrogen Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Development (MiSE). In 2020, after a previous feasibility study coordinated by the Scuola Superiore S.Anna of Pisa,
a technical table was launched at the MiSE with the participation of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (MIT), the FS group and RFI. In December 2020, the process of collecting accessions from local communities began, in order to eliminate any bureaucratic and administrative obstacles. In July 2021, the project passed the pre-selection phase by the European Commission, within the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance.

In the development of the plan, the promoters of the initiative will continue to dialogue with the regions through which the railway runs, with the Ferrovie dello Stato Group and with other local public and private agents, involving them in the development and execution of the project.


Iberdrola is currently developing green hydrogen initiatives and projects in Europe -in countries such as Spain, the United Kingdom and now Italy-, as well as in the United States and Brazil, which will allow the decarbonization of industry and transport or heavy mobility, in addition to develop value chain.

In Spain alone, the company has submitted 53 projects to the Next Generation EU -they are part of the 150 initiatives promoted in this program- that would activate investments of 2,500 million to reach an annual production of 60,000 tons / year. In Spain, Iberdrola is currently building the largest green hydrogen plant in Europe for the production of fertilizers, which will be operational in Puertollano for Fertiberia this year


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