763,000

tonnes - potential reduction of rail related CO2 emissions per year

£41,292

funding received from Department for International Trade (DIT) and Innovate UK

AUS $4.10 - $4.50/kg

Modelled range cost of Hydrogen via distributed ammonia, by 2030

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The challenge

The use of green hydrogen as a fuel source offers many benefits and provides a practical response to the global challenge of reducing dependency on fossil fuels. Funded by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and delivered through Innovate UK, Arcadis completed a study for Smart Ports working with industry partners CLARA Energy to assess the potential of applying UK technology to support the decarbonisation of the Australian Inland Rail Project using hydrogen as a fuel source for freight railway operations. The project sought to consider the decarbonisation and environmental benefits offered using green hydrogen and also to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of this operating model when compared with a traditional diesel-based model.

The solution

Arcadis played a central role in connecting UK-based technology company, Smart Ports with CLARA energy, an Australian company committed to the generation of large-scale green hydrogen. By suggesting to study the potential applications of this technology in decarbonising the Australian Inland Rail Project – a 1700km freight line operating from Brisbane to Melbourne - the mutual needs and benefits of the respective Clients could be investigated. Drawing on our global experience in railway infrastructure and hydrogen value chain, we provided technical specialism and a coordinated project management structure to facilitate and lead the UK-Government funded technical study.

The impact

The study demonstrated that ammonia can be used as a viable and cost-effective vector for storing and transporting hydrogen at scale to decarbonise railway operations. For the Inland Rail project alone, the use of hydrogen fuel as a source of power would translate to a saving of 763,00 tonnes of rail-related CO2 per year. Additionally, given the level of investment and commitment in the use of renewable sources of energy in supporting governmental commitments to climate change action, the technology is expected to become increasingly more commonplace and cost effective to decarbonise our industries. It was demonstrated that operating costs were comparable compared with current fossil fuel-based operations and anticipated to prove more cost effective over the next decade. This proves that whilst the technology is emerging, the opportunity for a sustainable, environmentally friendly, cost-effective means of decarbonising the transport sector is available.


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