Today’s conference program of NGV2014 South Africa started with an update on NGV refueling stations, transport and storage. Moderated by Eddie Cooke, Vice Chairman of Southern African Biogas Industries Association (SABIA), this session detailed what the technologies, current networks and projects are in both public and private transport programs.
The first speaker was Andri Hugo, CEO of Novo Energy, who talked about the company’s experience in establishing the NGV industry in Southern Africa. As an introduction, he said that Novo has a 20 year track record of natural gas vehicles in southern Africa, has introduced the NGV industry in South Africa and Mozambique and has been involved in the installation of more than 12 CNG refueling stations. He delivered a timeline to describe all the milestones achieved in business. For example, the biogas plan in 1998 at both Weltevreden landfill and Krugersdorp waste water treatment, due to which municipal vehicles (bi-fuel and dual-fuel) hit the roads. “In 2012, the pipeline in Benoni allowed the opening of the Republic of South Africa’s first commercial natural gas station for vehicles, along with the operation of 300 light, medium and heavy duty vehicles”, he recalled.
Later on, both from CNG Holdings, managing director Stephen Rothman and director Zazi Dladla spoke to the audience on their papers “CNG Experience to Date, CNG Technologies, Current Network, Future Projects” and “Opportunities and Partnerships In Developing the CNG Industry in South Africa and Africa”, respectively.
On the one hand, Rothman explained that CNG Holdings consists of the companies Virtual Gas Network, NGV Gas and CNG Technology. The first one supplies CNG via modular road transport system to customers who are not on the existing natural gas network. The second one, NGV Gas, specializes in the provision of gas filling stations for both private and public transport. “The company’s Johannesburg Langlaagte – Flagship filling station was opened on March 13, 2014 and serves 420 vehicles (412 of which are taxis) a day by October ,” he reported. Lastly, CNG Technology holds the rights to distribute BRC CNG conversion kits and technology. “The first phase of the funding for converting 1,000 taxis in Gauteng will be completed by early 2015,” Rothman revealed.
On the other hand, Zazi Dladla stated that the Group’s target within the next 3 to 4 years is 14,000 taxis converted to the system (capital required: US$25 million), 28 CNG filling stations (plan to partner with BEE operators) and 28 conversion workshops in service. By 2016 and beyond, it is expected that there will be investments in mini-LNG distribution facilities in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. He believed that “CNG and LNG can rapidly be expanded throughout Africa with focus on setting up a network for the local market to service industrial customers and vehicle operators, while CNG distribution infrastructure can be established within 6 months in countries with natural gas resources.”
Milosz Szymaniak, responsible for OEMS Heavy Duty applications at Hexagon Lincoln, was the next specialist who addressed the conference’s attendees with the theme “Type 4 Composite Cylinders: Lightweight, Safe & Cost Effective.” Their portfolio is formed by portable gas cylinders, automotive applications (LIGHTSTORE™ CNG/H2 cylinders for passenger cars, TUFFSHELL™ CNG/H2 cylinders & systems for LD/ HD Vehicles) and energy and transport (TITAN™ and SMARTSTORE™ gas transportation modules, composite drilling risers, riser tensioning accumulators). Among all the technology described, he noted that the TITAN™ tank is designed specifically for bulk-transportation of CNG, hydrogen, nitrogen and helium and has an approved design certified by ABS, ISO 11439 and US DOT.
Last but not least, Gert-Jan Rap, on behalf of International Sales division at xperion Energy & Environment GmbH, expounded his views on the new technologies for NGVs and CNG infrastructure. Specifically, he highlighted the company’s products, activities and applications around the world, as well as its main offerings, which are: tier 1 supplier for automotive -and gas- industry, patented hybrid technology, patented cylinder sealing technology, wide range of available cylinder sizes for automotive application, system integration for automotive industry.