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Duo to retrofit Estonian locomotives to run on LNG

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LNG Industry,

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, in dual-fuel mode using LNG.

DiGas’ dual-fuel natural gas technology has previously been 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 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 generated by 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 locomotives, in particular their engine operations and fuel consumption, this will allow further savings and provide an ability to predict major repairs and maintenance more precisely.

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 least four more shunter locomotives using DiGas’ natural gas system. These actions aim to significantly increase the competitiveness of railway transportation over other means of transportation, by further expanding its existing environmental and economic advantages.

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