The European Commission will support the development of 15 refueling stations for LNG vehicles and one for hydrogen as part of the “ECO-net” Project, coordinated by Enagás and which aims to contribute to transport decarbonisation by introducing LNG, biogas and green hydrogen as fuels. Scale Gas, a start-up established through Enagás Emprende, the Enagás corporate venturing programme, will develop the projects.
The project has an overall budget of approximately 13 million euros and includes the construction of 16 supply points for fuel alternatives to traditional fuels for heavy vehicles and cars within a period of up to three years. These supply points, 15 LNG and one hydrogen – the first in Spain at 700 bar pressure – will be distributed along the Spanish corridors of the Trans-European Transport Network.
The ECO-net Project, Spanish Network of Alternative Fuels Refuelling Stations, is part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF European Funds), which promotes more sustainable and efficient transport. This initiative is in line with Directive 2014/94/EU for the development of infrastructures for alternative fuels and with the Spanish National Action Framework for alternative energies in transport.
In addition to financial support from the European Commission, the project has a loan from the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) covering approximately 50% of the project, with Enagás contributing the remaining amount from its own resources.
The ECO-net Project has won the support of different companies such as Toyota, a pioneer in introducing hydrogen-powered vehicles to the market, and institutions such as GASNAM and the European ECO-GATE project, a global action plan co-financed by the EU and promoted by a consortium of more than 20 companies for the development of CNG and LNG mobility in Europe.
Spain is the European country with most LNG terminals for supply to ships thanks to its geostrategic position and the strength of its infrastructure. With the ECO-net Project, Enagás is seeking to move in the same direction in the area of vehicle mobility, especially in the heavy transport sector.
The use of natural gas in transport is key to improving air quality and moving towards more sustainable mobility. Natural gas makes it possible to eliminate practically all NOx and SOx polluting particles. Specifically, it reduces NOx emissions by 80-90% and SOx by almost 100%. It also manages to reduce CO2 emissions by 20-30% compared to traditional fuels.
Moreover, hydrogen is a clean and efficient energy and is easily transportable and storable. Moreover, it has a wide range of applications: from the generation and supply of renewable energy to homes, industry or businesses to its use as fuel for mobility, regardless of the means of transport (sea, rail or land).