TransNamib dual-fuel hydrogen loco impression

NAMIBIA: The HyRail Namibia project has been launched to produce what the promoters say will be Africa’s first dual-fuel hydrogen-diesel locomotive. This is intended as a pilot for possible conversion of national railway TransNamib’s entire fleet of around 40 locos, and other fleets across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The €7·6m project is being undertaken by a consortium led by Hyphen Technical, which was formed by Hyphen Hydrogen Energy and South African rolling stock leasing company Traxtion to develop hydrogen fuel technology for the rail, road and mining sectors.

The other consortium members are TransNamib, the University of Namibia and hydrogen technology supplier CMB.Tech.

The two diesel-electric locomotives will be converted to dual-fuel at Traxtion’s site at Rosslyn in South Africa, operating as a pair accompanied by a hydrogen fuel storage tender.

TransNamib dual-fuel hydrogen locomotive impression

TransNamib will operate the locos from a base at Walvis Bay, with staff training and maintenance provided by Traxtion and ‘green’ hydrogen supplied from a production facility which Cleanergy Solutions Namibia is developing nearby.

‘We will be able to offer TransNamib the experience of operating a locomotive which can run on a clean and cheap fuel produced in Namibia’, said CMB.Tech CTO Roy Campe, adding that it ’has a great potential to offer low cost logistics, which will bring new opportunities for the country’.

NamGH2 JCOI Grant Funding award_HT

The 18-month project is one of four hydrogen pilot schemes being funded by the Namibian government, supported by a €30m contribution from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education & Research.