Stargate Hydrogen appoints Markus Hirvonen as new Chief Operating Officer of its rail subsidiary business

  • Starting his new COO role in mid-February, Markus Hirvonen will bring experience working with heavy-duty clean transportation to Stargate Rail, a subsidiary of OÜ Stargate Hydrogen.
  • He will oversee the implementation of solutions for retrofitting freight locomotives with zero-emission hydrogen powertrains, including the transfiguration of 41 locomotives to fuel cell power for international rail company Operail.
  • Markus anticipates a growing need for hydrogen and fuel cell solutions as the need for decarbonized rail transportation in Europe grows.

Hydrogen solutions company OÜ Stargate Hydrogen has appointed Markus Hirvonen as Chief Operating Officer of its Stargate Rail subsidiary. Markus brings experience in managing clean transportation to the business through his previous role as Sandvik Mining and Construction’s Research and Development Manager for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Markus joins Stargate Rail at a point of high activity for the company, which is currently constructing a prototype of a fuel cell electric locomotive for international rail company Operail. The second phase of this project will see the conversion of an additional 40 locomotives to fuel cell power, with each converted locomotive saving approximately 370 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Each saving is equivalent to the annual emissions of 80 average passenger cars.

Prior to his role at Sandvik, Markus worked on the electrification and digitalization of mobile machines at various companies such as Rolls-Royce, Valmet Automotive and Patria. He carries a PhD in Machine Automation from Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology.

Commenting on his appointment, Markus Hirvonen said:

“Stargate is ahead of the curve when it comes to utilizing the potential of green hydrogen in the transportation sector. Lowering emissions when powering heavy-duty transportation via electrification alone is not always possible or economically viable. Alternative solutions are urgently needed, and I believe that hydrogen and fuel cell technology will play a crucial role in the future of transportation. I’m excited to join Stargate Rail at a time when they are leading the way in this area.”