Firstly, Sacco delivered a discourse on the “Application of compressed natural gas to heavy-duty use in buses, trucks and multipurpose vehicles,” and emphasized the importance of clean mobility and transportation in major cities. The worldwide automotive fleet today is around 780 million vehicles, a figure expected to be doubled by 2030, according to estimations. “The sustainability of cargo and passengers transportation will definitely depend on the introduction of technologies that reduce emissions and oil consumption,” he forecasted. To achieve this goal, Sacco explained that vehicles manufacturers should produce engines exclusively designed for operating on CNG. “Natural gas is an excellent fuel for internal combustion engines because it is clean and is an alternative to oil, and is also available in large quantities and politically diverse regions.”
Rafael Labourt, from Gas Natural Fenosa, was the second speaker of the session “Global priority: conversion to CNG of Heavy-Duty Vehicles.” He described the evolution of the fuel, in consumption, vehicles and filling stations, and prospects about the sector future. Titled “Captive fuelling stations and fleets,” his presentation highlighted the need to reformulate the market towards CNG freight transportation, both medium and heavy duty, and the significant position of certain fleets, such as forklifts, to replace LPG and diesel with natural gas. “Our customers can use their fuelling stations to supply their own fleets. This will encourage investment while the customer saves 10-15% in fuel costs,” said Labourt.
Meanwhile, Iveco Engineering Director Rodolfo Velasco expounded “Present situation of Iveco at global and regional levels in terms of CNG applied to Heavy-Duty Transport.” In his talk, he focused on the importance of meeting the current demand while maintaining “the commitment and a holistic approach to sustainability transport.” “The CNG is an efficient technology, both technically –due to emissions and noise reduction and equipment reliability- and economically,” said the executive, while he also emphasized the wide range of natural gas models the automaker commercialises worldwide for medium and heavy duty transport, such as Ecodaily, Eurocargo and Stralis.
The last speaker was Victor Derlich, President of ESIGAS, with “M.E.G.A. Project – Natural gas Heavy-Duty engines”. “The initiative is aimed at developing reliable engines, without maintenance and service issues. The project is one hundred percent Argentinean, with local autoparts and staff,” said Derlich to the audience while he did a review of dedicated natural gas engines models manufactured by his company, which already operate in several large vehicles in the province of Mendoza. “The direct cost savings per year is more than $120,000 using CNG trucks, not to mention the cut of carbon footprint, a subject our customers always highlight,” he said.