Galileo’s Virtual Pipeline™ technology is improving the quality of life in the Bulgarian province of Plovdiv. The Argentinean developer of modular Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) mobile fueling solutions, together with its in-country distributor CNG Maritza, has set up a system of mother-daughter CNG stations that is satisfying inhabitants fuel and heating needs at reduced cost and benefit to the environment.
According to the Galileo press release, the initiative represents the greatest European project of gas distribution, aside from the conventional pipeline networks. In the benefitted communities region, the laying of conventional pipelines was unfeasible due to the absence of large consumption centers that could allow the recovery of the investment. The Virtual Pipeline solves this problem in these scenarios.
With this vision, CNG Maritza installed a mother station of Virtual Pipeline in Graf Ignatievo. There, 3 CNG Microbox™ compressors, connected to the network that supplies this city, reduce the natural gas volume with a pressure of 250 bar (3,625 pounds per square inch (psi)) and provide 150,000 normal cubic meters per day (Nm3/d) (48,100 gallons of gasoil equivalent per day (GGE/d)) of CNG.
Once converted into CNG, the fluid is sent from the compressors to the modular MAT™ containers, where it is stored for future distribution using specialised VST™ trailers. With a storage capacity of 1,500 Nm3 (481 GGE) of CNG per unit, the MAT containers can be distributed individually. This configuration allows each consumption center or daughter station to receive the number of MATs according to their daily gas demand, eliminating unnecessary and excessive costs of transportation.
The availability of natural gas in the form of CNG provides an alternative to the traditionally consumed fuels such as diesel, fuel-oil and LPG, among others. The change reduces the pollutant emission rate and generates savings in fuel cost.
The gasification process derived from the Virtual Pipeline application has improved connectivity between cities: in Smolyan, the medium-distance transport company Rozhen Express replaced diesel for CNG, reducing the environmental impact of its autobuses fleet.
Currently, the Virtual Pipeline managed by CNG Maritza has 6 VST trailers with a daily distribution capacity of 80 MATs, containing 120,000 Nm3 (38,500 GGE) of natural gas, and satisfying the demand of 8 daughter stations.
Galileo explains that, in the case of the Virtual Pipeline, modular equipments perform the conditioning of natural gas, the compression to obtain CNG, the transportation, and the pressure regulation at the consumption level. This kind of configuration allows the system to increase its capacity in every module to meet the natural gas demand as it changes. The result is a reasonable balance between operative costs and investment, stimulating a virtuous circuit of economic expansion and wellbeing based on clean and low cost energy.
With a long-term perspective CNG Maritza accompanied the construction of its mother station in Graf Ignatievo with that of a plant for the manufacturing of MATs wich will be used to increase gas transportation possibilities. Currently, this plant- which operates pursuant to Galileo Technologies’ license – has an annual production capacity of 120 MATs.
Towards the future, the goal is to have the capacity of transportation that is needed to attend other regions of Bulgaria or even other European countries interested in reproducing this successful experience.
Galileo Technologies S.A. is an NGV Global Sponsor Member.
(Source: Galileo Technologies S.A.)