PKN ORLEN and Pesa Bydgoszcz Sign Agreement to Develop Hydrogen Fuel Cell Train

By December 16, 2019 4   min read  (770 words)

December 16, 2019 |

Pesa Orlen Hydrogen Trains2

PKN ORLEN and Pesa Bydgoszcz will cooperate to develop zero-emission freight transport. The project aims to develop a hydrogen-powered train. During the conference organized by the National Agency for Energy Conservation in Warsaw, the companies signed a letter of intent in this matter. 

The cooperation assumes actions for the development of zero-emission transport technologies. It will cover the exchange of information and research that will lead to Pesa Bydgoszcz developing a rail vehicle equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell drive system. As a consequence, both companies will test hydrogen powered rail vehicles and eventually implement them into commercial solutions. This technology will be able to be used in freight locomotives as well as rail vehicles designed to transport people.

We are aware of changes taking place. Like other fuel companies, we are preparing for energy transformation. That is why we focus our activities and investment plans, among others, on the development of the petrochemical sector, investments in renewable energy sources and on the development of alternative fuels infrastructure. We have already decided to build a hydrogen purification installation that will be built at the plant in Trzebinia, owned by ORLEN Południe. The start of production of pure hydrogen fuel, which will be used to drive electric vehicles, including locomotives, is planned in 2021. The second letter of intent from Pesa Bydgoszcz this year, after the Upper Silesian and Zagłębie Metropolis, signed this year, is the next stage serving the development of transport based on ecological technology– said Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN.

Hydrogen is one of the key sources of clean energy supported by the European Union to build a zero-carbon economy. This solution is successively implemented in all passenger and freight transport.

Fuel hydrogen cells are a very promising technology in rail transport, and cooperation with the largest fuel producer in the region in this area gives us a unique opportunity to implement solutions with a high degree of scalability. To start with, these will be hydrogen-powered freight locomotives. Ultimately, we will be able to produce a completely emission-free traction unit designed for passenger traffic – says Krzysztof Zdziarski, Vice President of the Management Board of Pesa Bydgoszcz for operations.

I am convinced that hydrogen-powered vehicles are the future of the automotive industry. Hydrogen is a fuel that gives a chance for future generations to live in a cleaner environment. Its advantage is also a relatively large range and short refueling time, so it will be ideal to use this fuel for heavy rail vehicles. As part of the capital group, PKN ORLEN already produces nearly 45 tons of high quality hydrogen per hour in the production process. We sell this raw material for passenger cars at two stations in Germany. Soon hydrogen drivers will also be able to refuel in the Czech Republic, because UNIPETROL from the ORLEN Group will start construction of three hydrogen stations next year. Now we are expanding our potential market by rail transport,– said Józef Węgrecki, Member of the Board for Operations.

Hydrogen technology is becoming increasingly popular in the rail transport sector. Recently, this type of vehicle was ordered by German carriers, and the German government is to cover up to 40% of the cost of hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is most widespread in Japan and California. Poland, among others due to PKN ORLEN, is one of the largest hydrogen producers in the world.

PKN ORLENis the largest company in Central and Eastern Europe, operating on six home markets – in Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia and Canada. The group has modern assets capable of processing over 35 million tons of various types of oil annually, and retail sales are carried out using the region’s largest network of over 2,800 fuel stations. The ORLEN Group offer includes over 50 highest quality petrochemical and refinery products, sold on 6 continents in over 100 countries. PKN ORLEN is an important player on the energy market in Poland, and also the largest industrial producer of electricity, it also has its own oil and gas resources.

Pesa Bydgoszczis the largest Polish manufacturer of rail vehicles, starting from the beginning on its own projects and technical solutions created in the Research and Development Department with over 300 employees. The company’s vehicles travel in 11 countries, and the company has obtained 23 foreign approvals. Pesa has already delivered over 700 trams and almost 600 multiple units and locomotives. The company also deals with modernization, repair and maintenance of rolling stock through a plant in Mińsk Mazowiecki. It employs a total of over 4,000 people.

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