NGVA Europe reported that CNG Net, a subsidiary of Ballast Nedam, is set to deliver 12 million m3 of biomethane for all 225 city buses of Connexxion in the city area of Arnhem/Nijmegen in the Netherlands, from the end of 2012. This will be the largest public transport concession for biomethane in the Netherlands and unique in Europe.
“There are 6.000 LNG trucks already running in USA and 4.000 in China,” Lage informed, and also detailed some experiences regarding rail and marine applications. “We have to implement the European L-CNG infrastructure that will allow us to reduce the oil dependence,” he concluded.
Following, Brenda Smith, Head of Consultant, Gas Advisers, broached the issue “Distributed LNG production and its correlation with transport applications” emphasizing the growing role of natural gas. She believes that it will grow fast enough in the next 20 years to overtake coal for the number-two position in world energy supplies, behind oil, at the same time as LNG trade is becoming the single most important advance in balancing the global gas market. “Australia is an important player and is set to be the world’s first supplier,” she said.
Over the same session, Henk Verbeek, Honorary Chairman of NGV Holland, presented his paper: “Biogas, is it an ideal gridbound commodity or a poor solution? A study after alternatives LBG and CBG.” During his speech, he explained that biogas is good for mobility because it makes possible more than Global Warming savings and is better than grid gas quality.
The final lecturer of this session was Doug Leaf, Commercial Development manager at Gasrec, who spoke about production and supply of Bio-LNG in the commercial vehicles sector. The company’s first production plant has been in operation since June 2008 and has a growing list of high profile customers including Tesco, J Sainsbury, Coca Cola ,Waitrose ,UPS, DHL & B&Q. It can source fossil LNG from the National Grid or elsewhere to meet increasing demand for Bio-LNG from truck fleets while it develops more Liquid Bio-methane sources.
Gasrec revealed it has closed a multi-million pound investment to rollout Strategic Refuelling Sites to meet its customers demand. Regarding its Business Plan, the comany will support the major adopters of liquid gas road fuel.
Session 2, ‘Technologies and performances of on-road Heavy-Duty Vehicles’
Coordinated by Manuel Lage, the meeting started with Evert van de Laar, manager of the programme ‘Truck of the Future’ at Agentschap NL, which executes this plan for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. “Transport is very important for the Dutch economy; CO2-emission of transport is still increasing, so innovation in vehicles and logistics is crucial to keep sector healthy”, he explained. The demonstration programme includes 12 companies and 250 trucks, while the subsidy reaches 39 companies and 204 trucks (hybrid, dual fuel, LNG-BioLNG and biomethane vehicles).
Immediately, Peter Hendrickx, Marketing & Sales Manager Rolande LNG B.V. discoursed on the cost ownership and LNG vehicle fleet performances. He showed LNG market development in USA and Europe and informed that the company in active in: LNG deliveries in The Netherlands, France, Scandinavia, Switzerland and Germany; filling stations and truck conversions businesses.
On behalf of Westport, Gordon Excel gave a paper on HPDI LNG engine technology and North American experiences with LNG trucks. He said the use of natural gas in heavy transportation has many benefits, such as: lower cost fuel, predictable fuel pricing; lower emissions; energy diversity; major fleet deployments gathering speed; OEMs investing in capacity; fuel suppliers investing in infrastructure; fast becoming a mainstream alternative to diesel; partnerships key to successful deployments; a global opportunity for energy shifts in the transport sector.
In the end, Steve Whelan, technical director at Clean Air Power, concluded that Heavy Duty NGVs have entered the “mainstream”, while there is OEM product and robust retro-fit system availability. He also confirmed large-scale NG infrastructure provision and said that “current commercial operations have demonstrated the basic success factors for HD NGVs”.
It is worth mentioning that both sessions offered their respective discussion panels, during which the audience actively asked questions to the experts and cleared up doubts.