In Germany, the recently formed task force for introducing liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel for use in the national market defined its work priorities for 2016 at a meeting in Berlin last week. The main objective of the initiative’s partners is to develop calls for action in order to implement the national mobility and fuel strategy along with the EU directive to develop the infrastructure for alternative fuels. The new partners include energy companies such as ExxonMobil, Total Deutschland and Uniper.
The LNG task force was founded on 30 November 2015 by the German Energy Agency (dena), the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) and the Zukunft ERDGAS industry initiative under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). It is part of the existing Initiative for Natural-Gas-Based Mobility, which brings together vehicle manufacturers, petrol station operators as well as the natural gas and biogas industry and is coordinated by dena.
The task force’s agenda also includes plans to continue tax reductions for natural gas mobility as well as launching and supervising pilot projects. Currently Germany has no LNG stations. The task force partners are planning to develop implementation projects and at the same time construct the first petrol station infrastructure for LNG with the aim of promoting LNG as a fuel for road transport. The first developments from individual member companies are already confirmed and have been discussed with the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).
A total of six companies and organizations have come on board as partners since task force was set up: Bohlen & Doyen GmbH, DRÄXLMEIER Group, ExxonMobil Central Europe Holding GmbH, MEW Mittelständische Energiewirtschaft Deutschland e.V., TOTAL Deutschland GmbH, Uniper LNG Kraftstoff GmbH.
Oliver Frank, dena’s Head of Division, explains the advantages of LNG in dena’s January 2016 newsletter:
“Liquid methane as a fuel has many advantages. It produces fewer pollutants and greenhouse gases, significantly reduces noise emissions in lorries and diversifies energy sources for traffic. Last year’s emissions scandal once again demonstrated that sticking to pollutant emission limits for diesel motors – in both cars and lorries – requires a lot of technical effort. Methane in the form of LNG or CNG (compressed natural gas) burns significantly more cleanly than diesel and can easily reach the limits set, even under actual operating conditions.
“Furthermore, with biomethane or synthetic methane, you can make use of 100% renewable energy sources or add them in any desired quantities. With liquid fuel, this is not currently possible. It means that a lorry running on LNG would actually be running almost completely CO2 free. All of these factors present a strong argument for the establishment of this fuel on the German market.”
Zukunft ERDGAS e.V. – the Future of Natural Gas – is an initiative of the German natural gas industry. In the mobility sector, it works to promote the establishment of natural gas and bio natural gas as fuels. The low-cost alternative fuel available at over 900 petrol stations in Germany can make a significant contribution to reducing noise and emissions on the roads – especially CO2, nitrogen oxides and fine particles. 100,000 natural gas-powered vehicles are already on German roads today.