Oct 14, 2020

Aurizon in $50m push for low-carbon locos

Aurizon in $50m push for low-carbon locos

Rail freight operator Aurizon will look into low-carbon options to drive its trains, including battery and hydrogen power.

The company has announced a $50 million Future Fleet Fund as part of a climate strategy released today.

Managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Harding said more than 90 per cent of the company’s emissions were associated with the consumption of energy (fuel and electricity) in the operation of its locomotive fleet.

Innovation and new technologies would play a key role in delivering
a lower carbon future, he said.

“That’s why we plan to invest $50 million in the Future Fleet Fund, targeting adoption of low-carbon technologies for our locomotive fleet,” he said.

“Battery and hydrogen power are exciting medium-to long-term
opportunities in this space.

“However, we are already well positioned to capture the near-term benefits of an increasing proportion of renewables feeding into the national energy grid.

“Aurizon operates the only electrified heavy-haul rail network in Australia – the Central Queensland Coal Network – with a large proportion of locomotives tapping into the electric power.”

The report said Aurizon was making investments to improve the competitive position of electric traction.

“We recognise cost-effective decarbonisation of the freight sector will require increased electrification of transport networks,” it said.

“As the proportion of renewable energy generation in Queensland’s electricity grid increases in line with government targets, our electrified network in Central Queensland will continue to decarbonise.

“In recognition of this, our Tracking Towards Net-Zero Operational Emissions initiatives emphasise the need to ensure that we can continue to leverage existing capabilities and assets, such as our electrified rail network, as we decarbonise our operational emissions.”