Sébastien Arbola, Executive Vice President, ENGIE; Catherine MacGregor, Chief Executive Officer...

Sébastien Arbola, Executive Vice President, ENGIE; Catherine MacGregor, Chief Executive Officer ENGIE; Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Chief Executive Officer, Alstom; Raphael Bernardelli, Vice-President, Corporate Strategy, Alstom

Photo: Vincent Breton/ Engie

Alstom and Engie have signed a partnership agreement to offer the rail freight sector a solution for the decarbonization of mainline operations by replacing diesel-powered locomotives with hydrogen versions.

Under the terms of this partnership agreement, Alstom is designing a hydrogen solution based on a high-power fuel cell system that can power electric locomotives on non-electrified sections.

Engie is supplying the renewable hydrogen for this solution via the deployment of an innovative supply chain.

This partnership will provide a low-carbon, zero-emission solution in response to climate, environmental, and public health issues, according to the news release.

For Alstom, this partnership is in line with its strategic plan ‘Alstom in Motion 2025’ as well as its hydrogen strategy initiated in 2013 with the development of the Coradia iLint train and pursued with the acquisition of fuel cell manufacturer Helion Hydrogen Power in 2021.

“Our ambition is to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen power in the rail industry by developing innovative solutions that help green heavy-duty mobility operations like rail freight. In order to help drive the evolution of the hydrogen rail sector we need to gather stakeholders, and this is exactly why we have decided to partner with Engie," said Raphaël Bernardelli, VP, Corporate Strategy, Alstom.

Engie said this partnership is in line with its aim to supply heavy-duty mobility markets with renewable hydrogen.

“After successfully supplying the Coradia iLint during tests in the Netherlands in 2020, we are delighted to continue our efforts with Alstom in decarbonising heavy-duty mobility by combining our respective expertise to serve European rail freight," said Sébastien Arbola, EVP, Engie. "This partnership marks a new step in the development of renewable hydrogen solutions and building a low-carbon economy.”