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HomeHydrogenORLEN acquires Poland’s first hydrogen-powered locomotive and begins testing phase

ORLEN acquires Poland’s first hydrogen-powered locomotive and begins testing phase

Polish energy company ORLEN announced on Sunday (17 September) that it has purchased Poland’s first hydrogen-propelled locomotive from Polish transport company PESA Bydgoszcz.

Testing of the hydrogen-powered shunting locomotive has already commenced, with its maiden voyage taking place between Gdynia and Hel.

The contract between ORLEN and PESA Bydgoszcz includes a four-year maintenance and servicing package encompassing routine maintenance and potential repairs. At 175 kilograms, the tank capacity of the locomotive exceeds that of a hydrogen-powered bus by over fivefold, enabling its “round-the-clock” operation. The traction system features two 85 kilowatt (kW) fuel cells, a battery and four traction motors.

ORLEN plans to invest 7.4 billion zlotys by 2030 in hydrogen technologies based on renewable energy sources and waste-to-hydrogen technology. “As part of our strategic goals, we are actively pursuing business projects that not only contribute to our sustained growth and strong presence in Europe but also align with our strategy to enhance energy security for the people of Poland. Central to this process is the advancement of alternative fuels, particularly hydrogen. We are investing billions of zlotys in cutting-edge hydrogen technologies,” said Daniel Obajtek, ORLEN’s CEO and President of the management board.

“The purchase from PESA Bydgoszcz of Poland’s first hydrogen-powered locomotive marks a big step in the commercialisation of the technology and fortifying our position in a sector that undoubtedly is the future of mobility. Through this investment, we will acquire the essential capabilities required to develop a comprehensive hydrogen fuel supply offering for customers in the railway market. Our efforts represent a tangible contribution to the transformation of the Polish railways through the use of cutting-edge technologies. At the same time, we are investing in zero-emission public transport, expanding our network of hydrogen refuelling stations in Poland and abroad,” Mr Obajtek added.

In 2021, ORLEN launched Poland’s first automotive-grade hydrogen production hub, supplying hydrogen fuel for over a year to a pilot hydrogen refuelling station in Kraków, where hydrogen-powered buses from various manufacturers are undergoing testing.

Later this year, hydrogen refuelling stations will be available for motorists in Poznań and Katowice. By mid-2025, ORLEN plans to have more hydrogen stations in operation in Bielsko-Biała, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Wałbrzych, Kraków, Włocławek, Gdynia, Piła, and Warsaw. In the Czech Republic, motorists can already refuel with hydrogen at ORLEN Benzina stations in Prague and Litvinov. Over the next seven years, the ORLEN Group’s network is expected to expand to encompass over 100 hydrogen refuelling stations, including approximately 57 in Poland, around 26 in Slovakia, and approximately 28 in the Czech Republic.

Additionally, ORLEN is the owner of specialised hydrogen laboratories in Trzebinia and Włocławek, which are the only facilities in Poland capable of testing all hydrogen parameters required to power fuel cells in vehicles. The company is also a leading member of the Mazovian Hydrogen Valley, established in 2022, and the Amber Hydrogen Valley, encompassing the Province of Gdańsk, created this year by an international consortium of 11 entities.

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