Second speaker was Stefano Proietti with “BIOMASTER: Latest Developments and Achievements”. This project is expected to finalize by May 2014, and has already established action plans in four regional networks (Poland, UK, Sweden and Italy). Proietti described the production of biomethane and its different uses, and highlighted the importance of its development to promote a unique combination of low-carbon, low-emissions, low-noise transport. “We need to promote and facilitate injection of biomethane into natural gas grid and overcome barriers by bringing the key components of the biomethane chain into a joint initiative, stimulating investments, removing non-technological barriers and mobilizing actions for biomethane uptake,” he stressed. Other targets include improving range and energy efficiency of natural gas vehicles (storage and engine), increasing availability of vehicle models, guaranteeing security of energy supply from local resources instead of fossil fuel dependency and import, and generating economic incentives for vehicles and fuels.
Then, Gabriel Ferrús presented “GREENCRANES: Testing the Way to Real Sustainability in Ports.” The initiative involves three terminals: Port Authority of Valencia (the project leader), Port Authority of Livorno (Italy), and Port of Koper (Slovenia). Co-financed by the EU Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T), it is expected to be completed by May 2014 and focuses on the freight transport and its associated logistic infrastructures as essential to keep the EU in the leading position of world developed areas. Its general goal is to study and define methods and measures to reduce GHG and pollutant emissions whilst increasing energy efficiency, carrying out pilot deployments of different potential solutions, and outlining standards and policies based on the project results. Currently, the Port of Valencia is conducting a pilot to evaluate adaptation of existing diesel machinery to allow the supply of LNG. “We have to think that a fleet in a port terminal is not used as other fleets, for example city buses, we cannot replace only one tractor, we need to consider the profitability of the entire project and its economic impact,” commented Ferrús and added that public pilot demonstration will take place in October 2013, in Valencia.
“The LNG Blue Corridors Project” was introduced by Xavier Ribas, who spoke about the origins of this plan, officially launched last month, and described it as a four year large-scale demonstration activity along first defined four main corridors that will fill the gaps in the four routes considered as the initial Blue Corridors. It includes building up 14 new LNG/L-CNG stations and deploying in these routes approximately 100 LNG-powered trucks for both medium and long distance transport. “We need to demonstrate the fuel is clean, available, and remove existing barriers,” said Ribas. According to him, the project will seek optimization of dedicated and dual fuel engines and vehicles when using LNG, identification of an efficient, safe and viable LNG infrastructure, and identification of necessary regulations/standards to harmonize and regulate the vehicles and fuel stations.
From the TEN-T project, Carl Carlsson presented “The Challenges ahead for the Shipping Industry and how the Swedish Industry Try to Solve it – LNG is One of the Solutions.” Through the Vision Zero Tool, the initiative focuses on how to increase economic growth, welfare and transport by sea, as well as how to reduce negative environmental impact, accidents and energy consumption. “We will never achieve this without cooperation with partners (ports, customers, industry groups). Besides, to achieve the ‘Zero Vision’ in the long term and to reduce emissions from the ships with existing technology and vessels we do need support from research academy,” remarked Carlsson. The project is currently implementing three pilot actions with Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, France and UK as participating countries.
On behalf the German Energy Agency (DENA), Mathis Weller spoke about the “Cross-Industry Team Work: the German ‘Initiative for Natural Gas and Biomethane in Transport’ in a European Perspective,” and gave two key messages to the audience: the Clean Energy for Transport Package needs industry backing to ensure the market development for NGVs, and DG MOVE strongly welcomes such an initiative; the German Initiative for Natural Gas and Biomethane in Transport and the Green Gas Grids project can serve as an example. “The aim is to increase the share of CNG in mobility and accelerate the NGV market development through a joint declaration of intent. We are looking for partners to take this to a next level, and the cooperation with the industry is key for this project,” explained Weller. Goals include major improvements in supply of NGVs and their technology, a further expansion of the filling station network and the admixture of renewable methane, and a relevant contribution of industry fleets to reach a critical mass of NGVs in Europe and thus to allow for the necessary economies of scale.
With his presentation “Quantitative Limits in Gas Quality Standardization. Report from the EU Mandated CEN Work and the History behind it,” Mattias Svensson discussed about standardization of CNG. Even though safety aspects are currently covered, with many internal or national specifications on cylinders and components, the EU has identified the lack of international standard limits, which could be a barrier for biomethane. “Only in Sweden, there are standards for direct utilization of biomethane as vehicle fuel,” he noted. He also explained that as the NGV industry is supplied by the peripheral segments of two major businesses, the natural gas market (focused on heat and power, not fuel) and the OEMs (focused on diesel and petrol as fuels), the main challenges for the standardization is making emission lean and fuel efficient engine technology possible without risking the core gas business. And for that, he said, we need cost optimization across the two markets and building trust.