"Australian freight giant Aurizon has chosen battery and hydrogen power over
renewable fuels to decarbonise its rail fleet in Australia.
CFO George Lippiat said in an investor day presentation last week that
renewable fuels remain part of the plan to reach net zero by 2050, but high
prices and a scarcity of feedstock predicted by the International Energy Agency
in the coming years mean it may not be the best option if alternatives are
“That is part of our plan, but it’s reliant on the fuel being available at an
affordable price,” Lippiat said.
Instead, Aurizon has signed up Caterpillar-owned Progress Rail in May to
retrofit a battery into an existing 4000-class diesel locomotive, to see if it
might be a cheaper way of transitioning locomotives with a 30-40 year lifespan
away from fossil fuels.
The battery locomotive is expected to be finished by early 2025 and doing
on-track trials in the first half of that year, with charging infrastructure
being built concurrently.
Lippiat says of the company’s 700 locomotives, 150 are electric. But with
shareholders, employees and other stakeholders demanding faster change, it has
to be proactive."
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics