Namibia launches Africa's first hydrogen train project

Namibia launches Africa's first hydrogen train project

The project involves the conversion of two locomotives to dual-fuel hydrogen and includes extensive research into the feasibility and environmental impact of the technology.

Namibia has launched the HyRail project, the continent's first hydrogen-powered train. The project is led by TransNamib, Hyphen Technical, CMB Tech and the University of Namibia. The conversion of the locomotives to dual-fuel hydrogen is expected to begin later this year and be completed by the end of 2025. The project includes the conversion of two locomotives and a hydrogen tender wagon, as well as comprehensive studies on the feasibility and impact of hydrogen dual-fuel technology in Nam

Konrad Boshoff, CEO of Hyphen Technical, said the project has attracted strong interest from both local and international companies, highlighting its potential to revitalize rail transport by reducing carbon emissions and increasing the efficiency of freight services. The converted locomotives will be dynamically tested in trial service until the last quarter of 2025, preparing them for revenue service.

The HyRail project aims not only to innovate but also to transform Namibia into a significant player in the production and industrial use of green hydrogen (GH2). The project is aligned with global environmental goals and supports Namibia's economic development by providing a sustainable and cost-effective transport solution for commodities such as copper concentrate and iron ore.

With a total investment of €9.17 million, the project is expected to be funded through grants, secured loans and shareholder equity. The initiative is part of a broader national strategy to position Namibia as a leader in the production and use of green hydrogen, with commercial green hydrogen molecules expected to be produced later this year, attracting investments potentially above €2 billion.

The successful implementation of the HyRail project is expected to pave the way for the expanded use of GH2 across Namibia's rail network, providing a greener alternative to traditional diesel-powered trains and setting a precedent for sustainable rail transport solutions in Africa.

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