Natural gas as a fuel is a viable alternative to help improve air quality in cities and represents significant competitive advantages over traditional fuels. That is the message of Gas Natural Fenosa’s first congress about natural gas in transportation. The conference brought together all stakeholders along the value chain of natural gas as a fuel for transport in Spain. The congress aimed for agreement on cooperation measures and actions that contribute to maximizing the penetration of this transport fuel.
Director of Energy Solutions and Services of Gas Natural Fenosa, Josep Codorniu, the general coordinator of Sustainability and Mobility of the City of Madrid, Javier Rubio, the head of the section of combustible gases from the general direction of Industry of Madrid, Fernando Valley, and the deputy director general of security, maritime pollution and inspection of the general direction of Merchant Marine, Francisco Ramos, were responsible for opening the conference, attended by about 180 people representing government, industry associations and companies related to the field of natural gas in transportation.
The debate yielded a collective picture of deployment of public charging stations for compressed natural gas in the capitals and compressed natural gas (CNG)/ liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the main transport routes. A total of 26 towns in Spain already have supply stations, including Madrid, Barcelona, Burgos, Salamanca, Seville and Valencia, servicing around 3,500 natural gas vehicles.
It also revealed the high level of deployed technology and highlighted the need to coordinate the activities of the sector to give impetus to the development of LNG as fuel in both the maritime and long-haul transport sectors, both for freight and passengers, mainly buses, trucks and waste collection company fleets.
The use of natural gas as a transportation fuel helps improve air quality in cities, reducing nitrogen oxides and particulate matter by more than 85%, major pollutants that affect human health, and CO2 by up to 20%, the main greenhouse gas. Moreover, compressed natural gas (CNG) reduces noise pollution because a natural gas vehicle up to 50% reduces the noise generated by the motor.
Natural gas fuel is a very competitive from the economic point of view when compared to diesel and gasoline, as they can achieve savings of up to 30% and 50% respectively.
Gas Natural Fenosa manages more than 24 CNG stations across the country, with a potential load exceeding 685 GWh / year. The company has 17 stations pending implementation in the 2012-2013 period, which will provide an increase in potential consumption of 373 GWh / year. 40% of the new facilities will supply both CNG and LNG, which allows the use of this fuel in long-haul applications in national or international corridors of transport.
In addition, Gas Natural Fenosa is considering the introduction of marine natural gas fuel with the goal of reducing the environmental impact of shipping. In this regard, this year the company signed an agreement with the Port of Vigo in order to propose, design and evaluate joint projects for the use of LNG with dedicated engines or natural gas/diesel dual-fuel engines.