Liqvis, the LNG fuel supply subsidiary of German energy company Uniper, together with the food industry service provider Meyer Logistik have opened the first publicly accessible fueling station for liquefied natural gas in Berlin. Located in Grünheide on the east Berlin Ring (A10), on Meyer Logistik company property. It is open to external transporters and carriers and provides LNG along the main traffic routes in Europe, making it part of the “Blue Corridor” project of the European Union.
Trucks running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) are more environmentally friendly than those running on conventional fuels. They not only emit substantially less carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, they are much quieter in operation than comparable vehicles. Based on preliminary calculations performed by Meyer Logistik, savings of approximately 50,000 kilograms of CO2 emissions per truck can be obtained in five years. With a reach of 1,500 kilometers, trucks powered by LNG are as efficient as their diesel equivalents in terms of lower fuel costs and reduced pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Federal Ministry of Transportation, represented at the opening ceremony by Parliamentary State Secretary Norbert Barthle, is emphasizing alternative propulsion technologies for heavy-duty commercial traffic. He said: “We at the Ministry of Transportation aim at more transportation with fewer emissions. In order to increase the variety of fuel we support alternative technologies and the development of the necessary infrastructure. Especially for highway transport, but also for inland water and ocean transport, the already now available LNG offers various fields of application. Thus, the use of LNG contributes to the reduction of traffic noise, CO 2 emissions and – to a considerable amount – to the reduction of pollutants in the traffic sector.”
The companies involved are also rendering an important contribution to establishing LNG as an alternative fuel in Germany through the Berlin area fueling station; Liqvis is initially contributing about 600,000 kg of LNG per year and ensuring the operation of the ultramodern tank facility. Liqvis has direct access to LNG resources through Uniper and can provide LNG under market conditions.
Meyer Logistik will initially provide delivery of foodstuffs in the greater Berlin area with twenty LNG-powered trucks. Iveco is the first manufacturer to offer a 400 HP LNG commercial vehicle, the Stralis 440S40 T/P. Eckhardt Rümmler, Chief Operating Officer charged with the development of new business lines, said: “The creation of LNG fueling stations is a major step in the establishment of LNG as an environmentally friendly fuel for use in heavy duty transport. Consumers are increasingly emphasizing low-emission supply chains. We want to create a demand-driven LNG fueling station network through further partnerships in Germany and selected neighbouring countries over the coming years. In that way, we will be making a major contribution to the improvement of environmental compatibility and noise reduction in road traffic.”
Matthias Strehl, managing director of Meyer Logistik, is happy with the trouble-free pilot project (already in operation for several weeks) and said: “I have spoken repeatedly with our drivers that praise the reduced noise and lower fuel consumption of their trucks, as well as the simple fueling process. This makes us confident about the use of LNG in regular operations. Our goal is to apply the driving technology of the future now and to profit from the experience over the long term. We are conducting practical tests of driving concepts related to this and working together with our partners to find a viable alternative to diesel trucks.”