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11/16/2018 12:00:00 AM

Hydrogen-powered locomotive project accelerates - FPS joins the PKP CARGO and JSW project

H.Cegielski – Fabryka Pojazdów Szynowych has joined the agreement between PKP CARGO S.A. and Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa on the construction of hydrogen-powered locomotives.

FPS signed the corresponding letter of intent, which PKP CARGO and JSW entered into in June of this year. The signing ceremony took place during the 590 Congress in Rzeszów-Jasionka. This document pertains to the three entities undertaking joint innovative investment projects focused on the commercial use of hydrogen fuel in the rail industry. The parties to the letter of intent will collaborate with one another during their research and development work to manufacture new types of rolling stock powered by hydrogen.

JSW plans to take up the production of hydrogen at an industrial level because hydrogen can be extracted from coke oven gas, which in turn is a by-product in the process of making coke from coal. Extracted and purified hydrogen may be harnessed to generate environmentally-friendly electrical energy and heat and it can power means of transport without any emissions. The rail industry is a potential offtaker of hydrogen but hydrogen locomotives must first be built. FPS is to take up the task of configuring and building such locomotives, and it will provide them to PKP CARGO for the testing phase of such an innovative drive train. This will be the first stage prior to building the prototype of the new Polish hydrogen locomotive.

Czesław Warsewicz, CEO of PKP CARGO did not even attempt to contain his satisfaction with the fact that they managed to bring a Polish manufacturer of rolling stock on board this project. This is the third important entity without whose engagement building a hydrogen locomotive would be implausible. Warsewicz points out that FPS has the experience and skills required to do design and test work. The CEO of PKP CARGO also focused on the benefits the rail operator would derive from pursuing a hydrogen program as it becomes more competitive on the rail transport market. “I hope that in the near future we will be able to present the outcome of the work done by our entities. We want to take advantage of this solutions when it comes to market”, said Czesław Warsewicz.

Hubert Stępniewicz, CEO of Fabryka Pojazdów Szynowych emphasized how happy he was to sign this letter of intent. “We are elated to be able to join PKP CARGO and JSW in this important and innovative project to build locomotives powered by hydrogen fuel. This is an important step towards protecting the environment, while innovative measures involving the usage of hydrogen technology as a source of power for locomotives poses an opportunity to develop our company’s products. Innovative hydrogen-powered locomotives manufactured by FPS will appear on train tracks to work for PKP CARGO thanks to this project”, emphasized Hubert Stępniewicz.

CEO of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa Daniel Ozon added that developing clean hydrogen technologies is one of the company’s strategic objectives. In this manner JSW is also involved in e-mobility projects. “We are striving to utilize coke oven gas to produce pure hydrogen, which may also in the future become an emission-free fuel to power PKP CARGO’s rolling stock”, said Daniel Ozon. He concurs that it is crucial for FPS to join this initiative for it to succeed.

This project has also received the backing of the Industrial Development Agency (ARP), the owner of Poznań-based FPS. Andrzej Kensbok, Vice-President of ARP noted that through this initiative Fabryka Pojazdów Szynowych is proceeding to a higher operating level to become a partner of two giants: JSW and PKP CARGO. “I hope that this marks the outset of a project that will lead to a product that meets not just the high requirements set by PKP CARGO but will also become a product to be exported widely”, said Andrzej Kensbok. He also declared ARP’s financial backing for this project.

Deputy Minister Andrzej Bittel who was in attendance during the ceremony referenced the enormous significance of the letter of intent as thus far in Poland no one had undertaken the construction of a locomotive with a hydrogen drive. “I assume that this project will be a success because, after all, it is a rare thing to encounter three highly-seasoned and skilled partners and so they will simply deliver and there is no doubt about that”, asserted Andrzej Bittel.

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