Following a feasibility study due to be completed in the autumn, the companies will launch a project by the start of 2021 to develop hydrogen-powered trains and the associated infrastructure, along with management and maintenance services.

As part of the agreement, Alstom will manufacture and maintain either newly-built or converted hydrogen trains, while Snam will develop the infrastructure required for hydrogen production, transport and refuelling.

The cooperation stems from both companies commitment to develop hydrogen solutions.

Alstom launched the Coradia iLint in September 2018, the world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train in Lower Saxony, Germany. Snam is one of the first companies in the world to experiment with a 10% hydrogen injection into the natural gas transport network. The natural gas supplier was originally a subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni, but became a public company listed on the Italian Stock Exchange in 2001.

“This move is a further contribution to the decarbonisation of transport and to the development of hydrogen economy in Italy,” says Snam CEO, Mr Marco Alverà. “Hydrogen produced from renewables will become competitive with fossil fuels in a few years and will play a key role in the energy transition, particularly in industry, heating and heavy transport. It will be a pillar of the European Green New Deal and post-Covid investments.

“Snam is investing and innovating to make its network compatible with hydrogen, to encourage the development of new technologies and create an Italian supply chain. Our country has the opportunity to be among the world leaders in the sector, reaping the environmental and economic benefits of this climate leadership.”

“We believe in hydrogen,” says Mr Michele Viale, managing director of Alstom Italy and Switzerland. “This is the reason why we have signed a partnership with Snam. We hope that Coradia iLint hydrogen trains will soon become a reality in Italy, too. Thanks to a partner like Snam we will be able to respond to the market by offering a full-fledged solution.”