Alstom pioneers hydrogen mobility for rail

Publish August 30, 2021
oil and gas

Alstom, a global leader in rail transport and sustainable mobility, has pioneered several sustainable mobility solutions across the Middle East and North Africa.

The Coradia iLint is a perfect illustration for the commitment to designing and delivering innovative and environment-friendly solutions making Alstom the first company to have developed and put into operation hydrogren trains.

Developing a train powered by hydrogen fuel cells is the most illustrative example, in addition to offering an extensive portfolio of sustainable solutions adaptable to the different challenges of customers and to local specificities.

Railway applications are ideally suited for the use of hydrogen, as the quantities of hydrogen required are large, predictable, localised and constant over a long period of time. It can cover ranges up to 1,000 kilometres.

Through innovations in electric transport and hydrogen fuel, Alstom aims to shape the future of the region’s mass transit and mobility for the better. In doing so, it remains dedicated to significantly reducing emissions, minimising land use and carbon footprint, and decarbonising rail transport.

“At Alstom, we are proud to be contributing to promoting the use of hydrogen as our aim is to position hydrogen as a strategic factor in the energy transition, as we are convinced it will bring about the change in road and rail transport - towards a clean and ultimately emission-free energy system. The key advantage of the technology is that it is emissions-free when used to power a train (the only by-product is water) and is zero-emission throughout its full lifecycle if produced from renewable energy. The railway industry is already one of the cleanest sectors in the field of transport. As a dedicated and long-standing partner of the region’s transportation and mobility development, Alstom will continue to play an integral role in improving the environmental performance of rail across the region,” says Mama Sougoufara, Managing Director Alstom Menat.

The region’s governments are taking major strides towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, cutting down on the use of fossil fuels, and decarbonising transportation.

Supporting the UAE Vision 2021, the National Agenda focuses on improving the quality of air, preserving water resources, increasing the contribution of clean energy, and implementing green growth plans.

Consequently, outlining Dubai’s commitment to transitioning to a green economy, the leadership inaugurated the Green Hydrogen Project at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park – a first of its kind project in the Mena region that aims to produce eco-friendly hydrogen using renewable energy.

As a part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to move towards an economy less dependent on oil by launching several projects and initiatives to promote clean and affordable energy.

The kingdom has committed to developing an additional 10,000 km of rail and metro by 2030 as a part of the National Renewable Energy Programme initiatives within the transport sector.

With Alstom’s sole focus being transport and mobility, it continues its support of the kingdom’s economic growth and development, through the enhancement of infrastructure and the supply of sustainable solutions such as the Riyadh Metro.

In September 2020, Saudi Arabia became the first country to export blue hydrogen for zero-carbon power generation and signed an agreement to develop and operate a $5 billion facility to supply green hydrogen to the world outlining the kingdom’s effort in implementing the circular carbon economy framework and supporting the global energy transition.

Known as a global driver of innovation towards carbon neutrality in rail transport – Alstom places a huge focus on greener and smarter mobility solutions. Alstom has been the first company worldwide in 2018 to introduce a new regional train based on hydrogen fuel cells and batteries. Most recently, Alstom completed the acquisition of Helion Hydrogen Power.

This promising, innovation-driven company, a 100% subsidiary of Areva Energies Renouvelables, is specialised in high power fuel cells, thus complementing Alstom's expertise in hydrogen technology.

Alstom acknowledges its responsibilities to further decarbonise mobility and thus is committed to accompany its clients in this major transition by offering efficient alternatives to diesel trains.


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