Once to Schorfheide and back - but clean please!
By converting the Heidekrautbahn to hydrogen operation, regional passenger and freight transport between Berlin and Brandenburg aims to help reduce the ecological footprint of rail transport in the region. The APEX Group from Laage is playing a key role in this.24 Jan 2024
The APEX Group, founded in Laage near Rostock in 2000, has focused exclusively on the development of hydrogen electrolysis systems since 2012. This makes the northern German company one of the pioneers in this field. APEX's declared goal is to become an internationally established developer and operator of hydrogen plants. As its core business, the company develops, builds and sells or operates green hydrogen electrolysis plants with an electrolysis capacity of less than one gigawatt. These are used to decarbonize industrial value chains and produce green hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives such as LOHC (liquid organic hydrogen carriers) and e-fuels. They are used, for example, in the steel, chemical and cement industries as well as in other energy-intensive applications. APEX also offers systems for infrastructure and logistics, particularly for industrial use in warehouses, ports and production facilities.
In connection with the latter area, APEX has now announced a major project in collaboration with Resato Hydrogen Technology ("Resato"), an EPC partner for hydrogen refueling solutions from Assen in the Netherlands: a hydrogen refueling station for Heidekrautbahn trains is to be built in Basdorf, Brandenburg. With this initiative, APEX is building on previous successful collaborations with Resato in the field of hydrogen mobility with buses.
Full responsibility as general contractor
The go-ahead for the current project was given following a public tender by Barnimer Energiebeteiligungsgesellschaft mbH ("BEBG"), a subsidiary of Kreiswerke Barnim GmbH based in Brandenburg. As the general contractor for the project, APEX is responsible for the entire planning in the areas of electrical engineering, control and approval procedures as well as for the construction supervision of the installation of the filling station. APEX is also responsible for commissioning the filling station, including training the drivers and the system and operating personnel.
Milestone for the region
The new hydrogen filling station in Basdorf will be one of the largest that Resato Hydrogen Technology has built to date, marking a milestone in the further development of hydrogen mobility in the region. As a pioneer in hydrogen technology, Resato is ready to refuel larger quantities of hydrogen and thus further promote the use of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable fuel.
High interdisciplinary complexity
Peter Rößner, CEO of APEX, comments on the project as follows: "The Heidekrautbahn will be one of the first hydrogen-powered railroad lines in Germany. Projects of this kind are characterized by a high degree of interdisciplinary complexity and, in view of the availability requirements for train operation, place special demands on the technical solutions for the hydrogen infrastructure. Based on the good cooperation with Resato so far, we are looking forward to solving these complex requirements together."
Rob Castien, CEO of Resato Hydrogen Technology, adds: "Resato Hydrogen Technology is delighted to be working with the APEX Group on this promising project on the Heidekrautbahn. Our previous collaborations with APEX Group have shown that hydrogen mobility is a viable and environmentally friendly solution for transportation needs. With this new hydrogen filling station, we are taking hydrogen mobility to the next level and contributing to a more sustainable future."
Important role in regional passenger and freight transport
Incidentally, the name Heidekrautbahn is based on the fact that many Berliners used the railroad for excursions to the Schorfheide and the end point of the line, the village of Groß Schönebeck, is considered the gateway to the Schorfheide. Today, the Heidekrautbahn, with a route length of around 60 kilometers, plays an important role in regional passenger and freight transport between the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg. In the future, it should also help to reduce the ecological footprint of rail transport in the region.
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