Through Ferrocarriles Argentinos Sociedad del Estado (F.A.S.E.), the Ministry of Transportation signed a collaboration agreement with the U.S. company Optifuel Systems LLC. The objective of the agreement is to develop a project to put into operation 1,600 / 2,000 / 2,400 HP locomotives, 100% powered by natural gas with low emissions, in line with the country’s decarbonization goals.
“Our Transportation Modernization Plan is about developing more infrastructure with works throughout the country and it is also about innovative technology, such as this change in the energy matrix of our trains, to make them cleaner, more efficient, sustainable and cheaper,” said Transport Minister Alexis Guerrera.
“We know that natural gas is a fuel that produces much less greenhouse gas emissions compared to diesel, that is a resource that we have available in the country and that is in full expansion. For this reason, we are developing this test plan to promote our railways with an eye toward a sustainable future, strengthening our railway industry and generating national employment,” added Guerrera.
In this sense, the project contemplates the development of a pilot test in which the National Center for Railway Development and Innovation (CENADIF) will work in coordination with the U.S. firm in the adaptation of diesel locomotives to natural gas.
In this way, once the pilot test is passed, the project will continue with the subsequent test in locomotives in both passenger and cargo services and the possibility of incorporating railway material, the provision of the necessary spare parts for maintenance and the repair of units, technology transfer and local participation in the production of components.
In addition, the agreement determines that the project will be carried out in stages, taking into account the availability of locomotives, contemplating the eventual provision of more units, integration, assembly and testing, and the development of refueling stations.