Strong bet at Bologna’s workshops
New projects implemented seek to facilitate the use of biomethane in transportation
Under the title “Biomethane and Hydrogen Blends”, another workshop took place at the second day of NGV2012 Bologna. It was facilitated by Massimo Ferrera, Alternative Fuel Engines Director of Powertrain Research and Technology from Fiat, and included the lecture of Antonio Tricas, official of the Transport General Management of the European Commission. Later, Vanni Cappellato, president of NGV System Italia, spoke at the workshop “The Virtuous Circle in Urban Transport”, and highlighted the significant growth of Italian NGV industry and potential production of biomethane. In turn, Stefano Proietti, Isis Project Manager, gave details of the Biomaster project, aimed at boosting biomethane in European mobility.
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“LNG Blue Corridors”, ready to start
“Some projects have been selected and, at the end of 2012 or at the very beginning of 2013, the contracts to finance the demonstrations of the LNG use for trucks will be signed”, Tricas announced with a paper called ‘New EU actions to promote methane/biomethane as fuel for vehicles’ during the workshop “Biomethane and Hydrogen Blends”. “It is important that this project also offers indications for the standard approval for natural gas vehicles,” he added.
Meanwhile, the European Commission is beginning to deal with the new research program Horizon 2020, which foresees a global finance of 80 billion euro since 2014. “Alternative fuels will play an essential role in this program,” said Tricas, “and LNG represents an attractive option for its use on trucks and ships, mainly for the high power density and the low waste emission.”
Italy: natural gas vehicle market keeps growing
“The NGV sector is living in Italy a strong growth, despite the economic crisis”, said Cappellato in his speech during the workshop “The Virtuous Circle in Urban Transport.” The turnover of this sector passed from 1.350 million euro in 2008 to 1.500 in 2010, while the workforce grew from 8.500 employees to 10.000 in 2009.
“Natural gas can drive the transition from oil use towards new energy sources,” Cappellato explained at the second day of NGV2012 Bologna, “while hydrogen, after having been so positively judged, is virtually blocked because its chain has still very high costs”.
With a paper titled ‘Biomethane - Important asset for the Italian energy mix in the transport sector’, NGV System Italia leader remarked that his country is very interested in biomethane, which has potential production of 6 billion mc./year. “One bill has been prepared and foresees incentives for biomethane use,” he said.
Biomaster: a project for the development of biomethane in Europe
Financed by the European Union, this initiative includes four countries (Italy, Sweden, Great Britain and Poland) and is coordinated by the Italian society Isis. It started one year ago and is expected to be completed by 2014, and will widen the aspects of production, distribution and utilization of biomethane in transportation.
“We want to propose the realization of 12 new plants for biomethane production, four injections points in the distribution network and 54 refueling stations across the involved countries,” said Proietti. “The aim is to start cooperation among the various components of the biomethane chain”.
“It’s necessary to overcome the actual impasse stage”, he added, “stimulating the investments, removing the technological barriers and demonstrating that biomethane for transport is an operative and achievable option.”