Following the concept review and based on the integrated financial model, the Government of the Sakhalin Region, Russian Railways JSC, ROSATOM and Transmashholding JSC have signed a protocol for the railway transportation project based on hydrogen fuel cell trains on Sakhalin.
The protocol was signed by Valery Limarenko, Governor of the Sakhalin Region, Kirill Komarov, First Deputy Director - Director for Development and International Business of the ROSATOM, Oleg Belozerov, General Director and Chairman of the Management Board of Russian Railways JSC, and Kirill Lipa, General Director of Transmashholding JSC.
To achieve the key economic goals of the project, the parties intend to take measures to organize and conduct relevant activities with federal authorities, financial institutions and stakeholder organizations.
“We are approaching the time to start designing and producing of seven pilot batch of hydrogen fuel cell trains. We are going to organize a low-tonnage hydrogen production, hydrogen fueling stations to provide trains with hydrogen fuel, and launch the regular passenger rail traffic using hydrogen fuel cell trains. On the basis of the Sakhalin State University we will create a competence center to train necessary staff. Sakhalin region is to become one of the leaders of the Russian new perspective economic sector related to hydrogen production and application. It means the increase in tax revenue, preserving ecology and creating extra high technological jobs. It gives a chance to many citizens of Sakhalin and Kuril island to become a highly sought-after specialist in new perspective industry and profession”, the Governor of the Sakhalin region Valery Limarenko is quoted as saying.
"At present, together with the Government of the Sakhalin Region, we are working on comprehensive support measures for the project of hydrogen fuel cell trains on Sakhalin, including those related to the organization of a hydrogen production center on the island, where hydrogen can be produced for the needs of the transport sector. Within the project, ROSATOM is responsible for the production and supply of hydrogen fuel, organization and operation of refueling infrastructure systems for the hydrogen fuel cell train project. With ROSATOM’s large-scale program on the development of hydrogen technologies, we see great prospects in the domestic technologies that will provide hydrogen fuel for future trains," Kirill Komarov said.
"We work consistently to make the rolling stocks more environmentally friendly. Hydrogen fuel cell trains are no longer a fantasy, but our near future. They will allow reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere and contribute to reaching the net-zero emission goal. However, we still have a long way to go, to enhance technological and economic issues, but we will definitely find a solution that suits everyone. Experience has shown that highly-sought-after innovative technologies offer feasible implementation options within a relatively short period of time," Oleg Belozerov said.
"Transmashholding JSC invests heavily in the project," Kirill Lipa, General Director of Transmashholding JSC, stressed. “The best design and engineering personnel of the holding is engaged to achieve this goal, while the technical appearance of the future rolling stock has already been identified. We believe that the success of this project and its scaling can not only significantly influence the environmental aspect of rail transport, but also give an impetus to the development of technology as a whole. We look forward to the active commitment of the government, which can highly accelerate the implementation of the project aimed to introduce hydrogen propulsion and lead to a notable expansion of its scope of application in the future."
Hydrogen fuel cell trains have a minimal environmental impact. The development of hydrogen fuel cell transport is a priority for many countries aimed at tackling climate change and decarbonization.
Hydrogen energy development is one of the priorities of the Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2035. Today, Russian regions play an important role in creating an export-oriented industry. The Government of the Sakhalin Region does its best to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 and is interested in the application of hydrogen technologies in various sectors of the economy, creation of large-scale export-related hydrogen production, developing unique skills and competencies within the region in the global and national hydrogen markets.
On September 4, 2019, during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, a cooperation and interaction agreement was signed between the Government of the Sakhalin Region, Russian Railways JSC, ROSATOM and Transmashholding JSC on the railway transportation project based on hydrogen fuel cell trains and their operation systems. On April 23, 2021, during the Doors Open Days of the Sakhalin Region for investors, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic, the Government of the Sakhalin Region and ROSATOM signed a cooperation agreement for the project called Creation and Development of a Hydrogen Cluster.