Germany rolls out world’s first hydrogen train

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An employee of French train maker Alstom, waves from a window upon the arrival of Alstom's first hydrogen-powered train at the train station in Bremervoerde, Germany as it enters service on September 16, 2018. (AFP)
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The Minister of transportation of the German state of Lower Saxony, Bernd Althusmann waits for the arrival of the first hydrogen-powered train by French train maker Alstom at the train station in Bremervoerde, Germany as it enters service on September 16, 2018. (AFP)
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A hydrogen-powered train, by French train maker Alstom, drives near Bremervoerde, Germany, as it enters service on September 16, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 18 September 2018
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Germany rolls out world’s first hydrogen train

  • Two bright blue Coradia iLint trains began running a 100-kilometer (62-mile) route
  • “The world’s first hydrogen train is entering into commercial service and is ready for serial production,” Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge said

BREMERVORDE: Germany on Monday rolled out the world’s first hydrogen-powered train, signalling the start of a push to challenge the might of polluting diesel trains with costlier but more eco-friendly technology.
Two bright blue Coradia iLint trains, built by French TGV-maker Alstom, began running a 100-kilometer (62-mile) route between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany — a stretch normally plied by diesel trains.
“The world’s first hydrogen train is entering into commercial service and is ready for serial production,” Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge said at an unveiling ceremony in Bremervoerde, the station where the trains will be refueled with hydrogen.
Alstom has said it plans to deliver another 14 of the zero-emissions trains to Lower Saxony state by 2021, with other German states also expressing an interest.
Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, a process that leaves steam and water as the only emissions.
Excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries on board the train.
The Coradia iLint trains can run for around 1,000 kilometers on a single tank of hydrogen, similar to the range of diesel trains.
Alstom is betting on the technology as a greener, quieter alternative to diesel on non-electrified railway lines — an attractive prospect to many German cities scrambling to combat air pollution.
“Sure, buying a hydrogen train is somewhat more expensive than a diesel train, but it is cheaper to run,” Stefan Schrank, the project’s manager at Alstom, told AFP.
Other countries are also looking into hydrogen trains, Alstom said, including Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Italy and Canada.
In France, the government has already said it wants the first hydrogen train to be on the rails by 2022.


Emirates NBD profit surges on asset sale and forex gains

Updated 17 July 2019
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Emirates NBD profit surges on asset sale and forex gains

  • Dubai’s largest bank reports 80 percent rise in net profit for second quarter

DUBAI: Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, reported an 80 percent rise in second-quarter net profit helped by the sale of a stake in Network International and strong non-interest income on foreign exchange gains.

The result included a gain of 2.1 billion dirhams ($572 million) from the sale of a stake in digital payment provider Network International in an initial public offering in London in April.

The earnings showed that top banks in the UAE have still withstood strains from a sluggish economy and a property downturn in Dubai.

Second-quarter net profit jumped 80 percent to 4.74 billion dirhams. EFG Hermes had expected a net profit of 4.06 billion in the second quarter.

The bank said net interest income rose 6 percent in the second-quarter from a year earlier, as growth in assets offset a drop in net interest rate margins.

Non-interest income surged 23 percent, helped by gains in foreign exchange income and investment banking activities.

Provisioning for bad debts more than doubled to 656 million dirhams in the second quarter from a year earlier.

The bank said the cost of risk had increased in 2019 to a more normalized level from relatively better credit quality conditions in 2018.

Cost of risk reflects the price a lender pays to manage its risk exposure. In 2018, Emirates NBD signaled that it expected cost of risk to revert to a long-term level of 80-100 basis points from the 63 basis points seen in 2018.

“The increased cost of risk of 82 basis points in H1 2019 is a result of an expectation of a reversion of credit quality to more normalized levels from the benign conditions in 2018, coupled with the expectation of lower write-backs and recoveries,” it said.

Credit-rating agency Moody’s had warned earlier this year provisioning charges for top banks in the UAE will increase in 2019 owing to pressure in the property and the retail sectors.

The Dubai lender said its net profit surged 49 percent in the first half of the year. “Core operating profit advanced 8 percent compared to the first half of 2018, helped by loan growth, higher foreign exchange income and increased investment banking activity,” the bank’s chief executive Shayne Nelson said in a statement.

Nelson said that the bank continued to make progress on the acquisition of Turkey’s Denizbank and expects this transaction to close in the third quarter of 2019.

Emirates NBD said in April that it was buying Denizbank from Russia’s Sberbank at a roughly 20 percent discount to a previously agreed price, after a steep fall in the Turkish lira.