Production of the first LNG hybrid locomotive launched in Lithuania
Members of the Baltic Sea Region LNG cluster, representing Lithuanian business organizations, and two science institutions signed LNG hybrid rail locomotive production agreement in Vilnius Locomotive Repair Depot on 10th October 2017. First stage of prototype design and development will take about six months.
The LNG hybrid locomotive project has combined the engineering and technological resources of the Lithuanian LNG cluster members and partners including AB Lietuvos geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways), Klaipėda Stevedoring Company BEGA, AB Klaipėdos nafta, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and Klaipėda University.
Representatives of these companies and science institutions gathered in a special ceremony to observe how diesel engine was removed. Participants were introduced with the unique technology of the LNG locomotive and process of production. LNG hybrid system will be combined with a battery pack in order to balance the locomotive performance for shunting purposes.
The event was attended by high-ranking state officials supporting new technology projects and ambition of establishing Lithuania as the LNG technology and distribution centre in the Baltic Sea region – Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications Rokas Masiulis, Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.
It is expected that the locomotive will be ready for use by 2020.
Development of innovative technology will provide great benefits for the logistics industry and should give significant impact in reducing pollution. Project partners are the first in the whole Baltic Sea region to focus on the possibility of using cleaner railways on the railways. Project also will help to accumulate unique expertise in order to gain competitive advantages.
It is estimated that LNG driven locomotive fuel consumption will be up to 40% lower, carbon dioxide emissions would be 25% lower. LNG contains no sulphur, nitrogen oxide. When it burns practically no solid particles – the main reasons for smog – are produced.
The new locomotive will be used to maneuver in the territory of Klaipėda Seaport. Gradually the trajectory will be expanded.
Photos: AB Lietuvos geležinkeliai.