Train manufacturer Alstom and Italian energy infrastructure company Snam have signed a five-year agreement to pave the way for hydrogen trains to run in Italy.
The agreement covers railway mobility projects involving hydrogen-powered trains and related technological infrastructure, as well as management and maintenance services.
Under the terms of the agreement, Alstom will manufacture and maintain newly built or converted hydrogen trains, while Snam will develop the infrastructure for the production and transportation of hydrogen and train refuelling.
The news follows the announcement that Alstom is running hydrogen-powered trains in Germany. The company has utilised its Coradia iLint rollingstock in these trials, said Michele Viale, Managing Director of Alstom Italy and Switzerland.
“We hope that Coradia iLint hydrogen trains will soon become a reality in Italy, too. Thanks to a partner like Snam we will be able to respond to the market by offering a full-fledged solution.”
The two companies will conduct feasibility studies later in 2020 and hope to begin further projects in 2021.
Snam, which has been active in the gas industry since the mid 20th century, has begun to inject hydrogen at 10 per cent into the natural gas transportation network. CEO of Snam Marco Alverà said the company hopes to contribute to the decarbonisation of transport and develop a hydrogen economy in Italy.
“Hydrogen produced from renewables will become competitive with fossil fuels in a few years and will play a key role in the energy transition, particularly in industry, heating and heavy transport. It will be a pillar of the European Green New Deal and post-COVID investments.”
The European Commission has targeted investment in rail as a way to recover from COVID-19 and introduce more sustainable mobility.
“Snam is investing and innovating to make its network compatible with hydrogen, to encourage the development of new technologies and create an Italian supply chain. Our country has the opportunity to be among the world leaders in the sector, reaping the environmental and economic benefits of this climate leadership,” said Alverà.