Global energy company Cepsa and Spanish gas distributor Redexis have signed a framework agreement to expand the reach of natural gas fuel, both in urban areas and across the country’s main transport corridors for light and heavy vehicles. Together they will create the largest gas refuelling network in Spain in a bid to expand the supply of energy solutions and foster sustainable mobility.
Over the next two years, Redexis will invest EUR 30 million in installing and maintaining refueling points for both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) at 50 Cepsa Service Stations, while Cepsa will handle the supply and marketing side. Over mid-term, before the end of 2023, the aim of this alliance is to supply natural gas fuel to 80 service stations with a total investment of EUR 60 million.
Both companies are firmly committed to giving Spain a nationwide network of natural gas refueling infrastructure for both light and heavy vehicles; a network that is easy to access and with refueling times similar to those of traditional hydrocarbon pumps.
Between 2019 and 2021 Redexis will invest in the construction and maintenance of 50 gas refueling points located at Cepsa Service Stations in Spain, including both LNG (liquefied natural gas, used by heavy transport) and CNG (compressed natural gas, used by light vehicles), while Cepsa will handle the supply and sale of the gas.
During the agreement signing ceremony, Fernando Bergasa, chairman at Redexis, said: “We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with Cepsa, because it will enable to take a huge step forward in both qualitative and quantitative terms in the provision of natural gas refueling infrastructure in Spain. At Redexis, we are committed to making investments that help the country to undertake new challenges in terms of sustainability and respect for the environment. At the same time, we express our interest in the development of sustainable mobility through alternative fuels, which contribute to efficiency, sustainability and economic progress.”
Meanwhile, Pedro Miró, Cepsa’s vice-chairman and CEO, highlighted: “Through this relevant agreement with Redexis, we will continue to expand our portfolio of energy solutions, with the aim of providing customers with all the energy they need. We are confident that through this alliance we will be making significant improvements to gas mobility within Spain, for the transport of both people and goods.”
Each year, the Spanish automobile sector has been raising its growth forecasts for gas vehicles, with new models and conversions on the market. At year-end 2018, natural gas vehicle registrations stood at 5,745, up 145% on the previous year, while estimates from the main manufacturers suggest that light gas vehicles will total some 80,000 in 2021.
The Natural Gas Advantage
Natural gas is a viable option for sustainable mobility, as it reduces CO2 emissions, and also eliminates the emission of particles and sulphur oxides, helping to improve air quality in cities and reduce noise pollution. The vehicles are more autonomous, just as safe and equally as powerful as other combustion engines. Aside from being cost-competitive —gas vehicle owners pay less road tax— they can also be driven in high pollution stages because their windshield bears the ECO card of the National Department of Traffic (DGT, from its Spanish initials), which is a huge benefit when driving through large cities with traffic restrictions in place. Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) are suitable for all types of mobility: urban, intercity or long-distance driving.
Natural gas fuel also generates a 30% cost saving per kilometer when compared to diesel and a 50% saving compared to gasoline. Gas models boast an impressive range: they can travel up to 1,300 kilometers without refueling thanks to their bi-fuel gas/gasoline tanks.
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