Enefit Kaevandused and DiGas to retrofit and pilot two LNG shunter locomotives in Estonia
DiGas, a Latvian dual-fuel natural gas system manufacturer and Estonian state-owned energy company Enefit Kaevandused, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] to retrofit and pilot two types of diesel shunter locomotives TEM-2 and TEM 18 to operate in dual-fuel mode using LNG.
DiGas dual-fuel natural gas technology has been previously extensively tested on other types of shunting locomotives. It is estimated that each of the two types of retrofitted locomotives will on average provide around 25 000 EUR in fuel costs savings per year while emitting 20% less carbon dioxide, 80% less particulate matter and sulfur dioxide as well as 30% less nitrogen oxide.
With the upgrade of these locomotives and the detailed data received from their operation, Enefit Kaevandused expect to improve the efficiency of locomotive fleet management. Since the engine management system of the upgraded LNG locomotive provides extensive information on locomotive and its engine operations and fuel consumption that will allow further savings and provide an ability to predict more precisely major repairs and maintenance.
Both retrofitted LNG locomotives are planned to start shunting operations using DiGas’ natural gas systems in mid 2020. Furthermore, should the pilot project prove feasible, Enefit Kaevandused have expressed an interest in retrofitting at 4 least more shunter locomotives using DiGas natural gas system. These actions are aimed to significant increase the competitiveness of railway transportation over other means of transportation by further expanding the already existing environmental and economic advantages of rail transportation.
DiGas is an engineering company specialized in dual-fuel solutions based in Riga, Latvia. DiGas is currently advancing and piloting its dual-fuel system within the project NYSMART. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 784620. Enefit Kaevandused handles mining of oil shale to supply electricity and oil producers with fuel and raw materials. In 2018, the logistics unit of Enefit Kaevandused delivered via railways 12.4 M tons of oil shale and 0.5 M tons of crude shale oil, ash and crushed stone.