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. First stage of prototype design and development will take about six months. The locomotive, expected to be operational by 2020, will be used to maneuver in the territory of Klaipėda Seaport. Gradually the trajectory will be expanded.
The project has combined the engineering and technological resources of the 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.
The event was attended by high-ranking state officials aiming to establish Lithuania as the LNG technology and distribution center in the Baltic Sea region, including Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications Rokas Masiulis and Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas. During the ceremony, participants could observe how diesel engine was removed, and were introduced with the 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.
Development of innovative technology will provide great benefits for the logistics industry and should give significant impact in reducing pollution. It is estimated that LNG-powered locomotive fuel consumption will be up to 40% lower, while carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 25%.
Project partners are the first in the whole Baltic Sea region to focus on the possibility of using cleaner railways. Project also will help to accumulate unique expertise in order to gain competitive advantages.