Italian LNG/LNCG Refuelling Network Set to Expand

| Italy, Moretta
The Vanzetti-engineered LCNG installation at Poirino

The Vanzetti-engineered LCNG installation at Poirino, operating since Sept 2011

Italian cryogenic technology provider Vanzetti Engineering s.r.l., during its presentation at the First National Conference on LNG for Transports in Italy and Med Sea on April 11th, spoke of LCNG developments and highlighted progress to date toward developing a country-wide LCNG network. While details are not yet publicly available, Vanzetti referred to new projects underway – the installation of yet another LCNG station and the building of Italy’s first LNG refuelling station.

All Vanzetti LCNG installations are capable of being upgraded for LNG refuelling when the demand eventuates. The company says LCNG installations allow for the natural gas vehicle (NGV) refuelling network to be expanded independent of pipeline infrastructure, with station operators “fully satisfied with the speed of refuelling operations, plant management, maintenance & supervision and energy consumption”, explained Giancarlo Geninatti Crich, Vanzetti’s sales manager.

Herewith a brief summary of Vanzetti LCNG installations:

Villafalletto Public LCNG Refueling Station (opened in June 2010)
Villafalletto LCNG refueling station opened to the public in the province of Cuneo (North‐West part of Italy) in June 2010, first ever LCNG station in Italy (used as pilot plant for studying strength/weakness issues of the system).

Main features of the plant:

  • The system was designed with a cryogenic reciprocating pump by 22 litres/min flow rate and a vaporizing system of 717 Nm3/h capacity. The cryogenic high pressure pump, core of the station (flow‐rate: 700 Nm3/h = 8 kg/min approx.) allows compression in the liquid phase while saving 70% of power consumption and maintenance costs compared to the standard station fed by pipeline.
  • Above‐ground cryogenic tank, vertical, capacity of 30.000 litres for LNG storage at ‐160°C and working pressure of 5 bar approx.

Poirino Public LCNG Refueling Station (opened in September 2011)
The station is located in the province of Turin, in an area with high traffic flow. Main features of the station:

  • Flow rate of 1.400 Nm3/h = 16 kg/min max flow‐rate – allows refuelling at speeds similar to traditional fuels
  • Storage tank capacity: 35.000 lt
  • one dispenser with two hoses

Varna Public LCNG Refueling Station (June 2012)
This L‐CNG refueling station was opened in June 2012 in Varna (Bz), Northern Italy, close to the Austrian border. Varna station is located in a mountain area, where there are very few CNG refuelling facilities. As for the Villafalletto station, the plant is set up for 700 Nm3/h flow‐rate (suitable to be extended up to 1.400 Nm3/h), with low energy consumption.

Tortona Public LCNG Refueling Station (opened in July 2012).
Achieved with Vanzetti cryogenic technology and components, this station was opened to the public on the 20th of July 2012 and is located in Tortona (AL), Piedmont – very close to A21 motorway, it is 70 km south of Milan. Key features of the L‐CNG station:

  • Storage tank capacity: 35.000 lt
  • Flow‐rate: 700 Nm3/h – suitable to be extended up to 1.400 Nm3/h
  • one dispenser with two hoses

LCNG is Liquefied Natural Gas delivered by road trailers to off-grid refuelling stations for regasification to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Natural Gas liquefaction reduces its volume by about 600 times. Vanzetti was the first organization in Italy to introduce LCNG vehicle fueling.

Approximately 800,000 NGVs operate in Italy, fuelled by around 950 NGV refuelling stations (all types). Three other LCNG stations are also operating in Italy, in Rome, Bologna and Mortara (Pavia).

(Source: Vanzetti Engineering s.r.l.)

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