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Alstom and MOL sign MoU to explore use of hydrogen technologies for rail transport in Hungary

Alstom, a global leader of smart and sustainable mobility and leading employer and manufacturer of Hungarian rail transport signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MOL, Hungary’s leading oil and gas company to structure cooperation in examining the use of hydrogen technology in rail transportation.

By signing the MoU the parties have taken a step towards the decarbonisation of Hungary’s rail transport network. MOL Group produces and utilises almost 150,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year. Building on its business and technological competencies, the company takes a key part in the initiative by supplying green alternative fuels.

“With this MoU, we aim to share our experience in hydrogen technology and help Hungary to begin a new chapter in its rail transportation: the era of net-zero,” said Gaspar Balazs, Managing Director and CEO of Alstom in Hungary.

As outlined during the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, countries must accelerate their actions to limit global warming and keep it below the aimed 2 degrees. The EU’s 2030 climate ambitions remain unchanged – greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by 55 per cent compared to 1990. By 2050, the European Union aims to achieve zero net emissions. Hydrogen trains, such as the world’s first hydrogen train Coradia iLint manufactured by Alstom, are an emission-free alternative for non-electrified routes.

Hungary aims to play a leading role in the transition to net-zero. Therefore, as part of its National Hydrogen Strategy, the country has been investigating the feasibility of introducing hydrogen technology to rail transportation.

“The MOL Group is committed to sustainable development and the company’s key strategic objective is to become carbon neutral by 2050,” commented Gabriel Szabó, Managing Director of MOL Group Downstream. “We currently produce almost 150,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year, so we have a wealth of experience in using this energy source for industrial purposes. The time has come to produce hydrogen with lower carbon intensity in line with the regulatory environment and consumer expectations, and to also leverage our knowledge in the field of mobility.”

“As the largest fuel supplier to the Hungarian rail industry, we are pleased to join forces with Alstom,” he concluded. “This cooperation will allow us to explore the potential of hydrogen supply and related infrastructure development in one of the most sustainable mobility services, rail transport.”

Coradia iLint hydrogen trains are effectively electric trains with a hydrogen-powered fuel cell for onboard electricity generation. The primary energy source of the train is hydrogen, while oxygen is taken from the air and combined with hydrogen inside the fuel cell, which produces all electricity for the train. The battery is used to store braking energy, boost acceleration and auxiliary supply.

Photo: ÖBB/Marek Knopp

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