In line with its supply chain decarbonization roadmap, Nestlé Waters will be the first company in Europe to benefit from the hydrogen fuel cell solution for massified rail freight, including renewable hydrogen supply, developed by Alstom and ENGIE. It is estimated that this project will reduce emissions by 10,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per year, in the long term, i.e., the reduction of 90% of its current (diesel locomotive) emissions. This is the equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 30,000 round trips from Paris.
As a significant innovation, the new hydrogen solution will be developed from a high-powered fuel cell system that can power electric locomotives in non-electrified areas. This solution will be able to transport goods over long distances, on a national and European scale.
From 2025, this freight train powered by electricity from the rail network and from hydrogen in non-electrified sectors will aim to progressively ensure the transport of VITTEL natural mineral water between the factory located in the Vosges and its various distribution centers in France (i.e Vittel/Arles 600 kms and Vittel/Montreuil-Bellay 760 kms). The dual-mode solution will be composed by a generator wagon incorporating a high-power fuel cell system powered by renewable hydrogen and a line-electric locomotive, all connected by an electrical power cable. The generating wagon will be able to supply the locomotive with electricity without the need for any catenary.
Commenting on the plan, Mark Granger, Chief Strategy Officer of Alstom, said, “Our ambition is to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen in the rail industry and to develop innovative solutions for the greening of mass mobility, including rail freight. Therefore, we are looking forward to the first circulation of a freight locomotive powered by renewable hydrogen in 2025.”
Mark Granger, Chief Strategy Officer of Alstom