John Cockerill wants to provide citizens, cities, businesses and governments with a more sustainable and slower from of mobility and transport solutions. In this perspective, in 2019, our teams have:
– Designed the “zero emission” mobility of buses for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2022 (China)
– Equipped Trans-Gabon with virtual-reality training solutions for its train drivers (Gabon)
– Modernized one of the largest river infrastructures in Northern Europe (France)
Mobility at the Beijing Olympics without CO2
In 2019, the State Energy Group selected John Cockerill to supply the world’s largest hydrolyzer (stack of 1 500 Nm3/h) for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The aim is to supply a fleet of buses within the Olympic Village with green hydrogen. Hydrolyzers break down water into oxygen and hydrogen. Powered by green electricity, they guarantee a virtuous ‘zero emission’ process.
The world’s largest manufacturer of hydrolyzers
Roland, manager for the hydrogen activity: “Our solutions for the production and distribution of hydrogen cover the entire value chain, from renewable energy source up to green hydrogen for applications as diverse as mobility, industry and the energy sector. All of our customers and partners aim for environmentally friendly solutions. This is the case for the Beijing Olympics, for Liège Airport, or for our applications for making methanol from green hydrogen.”
John Cockerill has a strong team in Belgium and France, with a large development budget. “Together with various European partners,” says Roland, “we have built the test and simulation capabilities to create the solutions of tomorrow. In 2019, we also set up Cockerill Jingli Hydrogen, a joint venture with a Chinese industrial partner who is already well established in this market, and have inaugurated new production infrastructures. On balance, with a capacity of 30 MW sold in 2019, we have become the world’s largest player. This position is reinforced by already having sold 11 stacks of 5 MW minimum, the largest dimensions in the world.”
Did you say storage?
Producing hydrogen with a hydrolyzer powered by green energy is an excellent solution for the storage of renewable energy. The storage of energy is an area which John Cockerill has chosen to develop further. From 2018 onwards, it has been developing energy storage solutions based on various types of batteries, including flow batteries, through MiRIS®, Europe’s largest industrial pilot plant, which is based at its headquarters in Seraing, Belgium.
Training train drivers without taking out the locomotives
Trans-Gabon railway network
Setrag looks after the management of the Trans-Gabon rail network. The operator’s ambition is to ensure optimal training for its train drivers. To ensure better safety. And cap energy consumption as well. That is best done by confronting them with the many potential problems. It’s quite complicated to do this in real life. Hence the use of the simulators from John Cockerill.
Simulation and virtual reality
Yannick, head of rail simulation at John Cockerill: “We provided Setrag with a comprehensive Transurb® training system in 2019, based on simulation and virtual reality. Not only for the tasks related to the operation of trains, but also for learning how to cope with degraded conditions. Cases in which the driver is asked to leave his machine in order to intervene. Training is carried out at a reduced cost, without stress, creating a variety of situations. We have also delivered compact versions that can be used in different locations”.
Through its Transurb® brand, John Cockerill is a well-known player in railway training equipment via simulation, with references in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Morocco, and beyond: it will soon be equipping the rail network in the Sydney region of Australia.
Faster and less water-intensive river mobility
The Navigable Waterways of France (VNF: Voies Navigables de France) are committed to ensuring efficient and environmentally-friendly river navigation. The Fontinettes Lock is one of the largest locks in Northern Europe: 17 m deep, a drop of 13 m, 143 m long and 14 m wide. The VNF had already entrusted John Cockerill with the renovation of essential parts in 2015. Again demonstrating its confidence, in 2019, they entrusted it with the repair of the middle gate.
Reduced water consumption
Nicolas, the Project Manager, takes us through this exceptional project: “The middle gate has two panels of 135 tons each. Before carrying out this high-tech intervention, we started by modeling the entire lock in 3D. We then carried out the complete repair while ensuring all the of boilermaking, mechanics, asbestos removal, machining, painting, adjustment work, and finally the commissioning. In addition to this, there was also the simultaneous coordination of the various contractors needed for this 9-month project.”
Thanks to this intervention, mobility is even gentler down the stream. “From now on,” says Nicolas proudly, “a 50% water saving is achieved for every lock passage made, which represents no less than 8 000 m3 of water. Everything went smoothly, and we were congratulated by the customer, who has since entrusted us with new projects throughout France.”