Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF) is to create a network of liquefied natural gas (LNG) service stations to encourage its use in the goods transport sector. During an initial stage of the project, the multinational energy company will build eight new service stations in Spain at a total investment of EUR 7 million (USD 8.94m).
This new network – added to the nine service stations that GNF already has in operation or under development – will be capable of supplying the main transport corridors in the country. Natural gas is a highly competitive fuel from an economic perspective and its use helps reduce environmentally harmful emissions.
GNF will encourage the use of natural gas as a fuel in the Spanish goods road transport sector. In order to encourage the development of this market, the multinational power company has approved an initial plan to build eight new service stations within a period of approximately two years, which will be located along the main transport corridors of the Iberian Peninsula. The investment required for this initial stage will amount to nearly seven million euros.
The new service stations will join the seven that the company already has in operation along these transport corridors and the two that are currently under development, thereby creating a network capable of covering the busiest routes used by heavy goods vehicles. Deployment of this service station network falls in line with the European targets reflected in the Directive on Alternative Fuels approved by the Council of the European Union on 29 September.
The service stations will supply liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fuel used by heavy goods vehicles that travel long distances. LNG is a technically-proven alternative to traditional fuels and offers major advantages from both environmental and economic perspectives. Furthermore, its use helps reduce dependency on oil.
Nine service stations in stage two
The second stage of the plan, with a time horizon of 2019-2020, foresees the construction of nine additional service stations. These will be undertaken after an assessment of the results obtained from stage one and considering the level of development achieved by this technology in Europe. The investment planned for stage two amounts to almost EUR 8 million (USD 10.2m).
Furthermore, and depending on trends in demand, the company will look into developing new locations to enhance capillarity and improve access for customers to liquefied natural gas.
Approximately 4,000 natural gas-powered vehicles are currently on the roads in Spain. Most of these – taxis, company fleets, urban buses and refuse collection vehicles – use compressed natural gas (CNG).
LNG technology, which provides heavy goods vehicles with a range of over 1,000 kilometres, is currently spreading fast. Approximately 150 lorries use this fuel at the moment, but forecasts suggest that about 5,000 LNG-powered vehicles could be on the Iberian Peninsula by 2028; in other words, 3% of the total. Fuel sales will approach 640 GWh in the same year.
A viable alternative for road transportation
The use of natural gas as a fuel for transport helps improve air quality as it reduces the emission of nitrous oxides and suspended particles (the main pollutants affecting human health) by more than 85%. Furthermore, it cuts CO2 emissions (the main greenhouse gas) by up to 20%. Natural gas reduces noise pollution because a natural gas vehicle produces up to 50% less noise than the engine.
Natural gas is a highly competitive fuel from an economic point of view when compared with diesel, petrol and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as savings of up to 30%, 50% and 25% can be achieved, respectively.
(Source: Gas Natural Fenosa)