The National Gas Regulatory Entity (Enargas) organized an online working meeting with representatives of the entities that gather CNG vendors in order to advance on the regulatory, economic and commercial issues that the activity is experiencing, aggravated by the state of emergency generated by the pandemic.
“We are in a difficult and exceptional situation, and we must work together in order to advance. The theory of shared effort is the doctrine of this organism; therefore, we are going to study the situation and find solutions, always within the framework of our competence related to the transport and distribution of natural gas,” said Enargas’ controller Federico Bernal.
Regarding work with the sector, he stated: “We propose to establish a Commission of CNG vendors and retailers, just as we have been doing with other sectors of demand. Promoting this sector is a central matter of our organism, CNG is a cornerstone within the industrial and productive development of our country, and also key for the regional economies.”
“It is a consolidated and mature sector that generates many jobs throughout the country. Until recently, Enargas had a biased vision of this industry, but we are recovering our powers to carry out a large trucking project, replacing diesel with clean fuel,” explained Bernal.
In this sense, he indicated that Enargas “works far beyond the conjuncture to carry out important CNG-based projects that will make the sector very visible” and reported that they are studying a project of “green” corridors with trucks that replace diesel with a clean fuel like CNG. For this, service stations must be expanded incorporating technology for truck refueling.
The meeting attendees also made a review of the current situation in the sector. They explained that before the pandemic, the fleet of CNG-powered vehicles reached 13% of the total fleet; however, in the medium term it could increase to 20%, if there were some penetration in the segment of heavy trucks, short- and medium- distance buses and a promotion on the current light vehicle fleet. This is relevant since it would imply a future demand that could represent an estimated 20 million cubic meters per day.
“In the not too distant future, CNG and LNG used in vehicles may add a strong demand to contribute to making Vaca Muerta viable. The CNG and LNG industries add value and generate a lot of jobs because they cross several industries, favor regional economies and drive exports with development,” added Bernal.
In terms of environmentally friendly fuels, Argentina has been the undisputed leader in natural gas for vehicles since the 1980s, with technological developments and safety regulations that are in keeping with the highest world quality standard. The industry has more than 1.8 million vehicles and 2,200 service stations throughout the country.