European transportation company Transordizia, SL, a provider of vehicle logistics based in Irun in the Basque Autonomous Community of Spain, is setting out to prove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-powered trucking is feasible over the continent’s major highways. Arantxa Tapia, Minister of Economic Development and Competitiveness for the Basque Government, has participated in the presentation of the test truck as it passed through Irun on its way to Hamburg.
Transordizia aims to become the first European company to have a fleet of LNG-fuelled trucks for international transport. The company, founded in 1989 and specialized in international transport of commercial vehicles, is considered one of the three major companies in Europe by transport volume and billing.
Completing the Madrid-Hamburg route using only LNG marks the culmination of months of test routes over shorter distances north of Italy, France, Holland and Belgium.
Transordizia began three years ago to explore the possibility of building a fleet powered by liquefied natural gas instead of regular diesel fuel, but struggled with the 600 km autonomy of trucks and the lack of refueling points. In 2014 they bought an Iveco 330 LNG to conduct tests on mainland routes, then earlier this year added a new LNG storage tank, doubling its range to 1,300 kilometers. The trip has now become feasible using refueling points in Madrid, Olaberria (about 60 km southwest of Irun) and Antwerp (Belgium).
This is the first step of a more ambitious goal for which Transordizia acquire a fleet of LNG trucks. A project which has been supported by the Basque Energy Board (EVE), which is promoting the use of this gas as a substitute for diesel fuel. At present the company is addressing its milestones for the period 2016-2019, initially with the order of five units of the new model from Iveco, the Stralis NP, launched in Madrid mid-June.
But the goal of Transordizia is the progressive acquisition of 25 Iveco LNG trucks that will require an investment of EUR 2.5 million euros (USD 2.8m), with a planned job creation of 30 to 40 jobs. The company will use the momentum to place itself at the technological forefront and consolidate as an agent of reference in its sector.
Furthermore, Transordizia says LNG is 40% cheaper than diesel, which increases the competitiveness of vehicles using this fuel and, despite the natural gas trucks being more expensive to acquire, it is estimated that the reduction of total costs stands at 10%.
European standards for emissions are increasingly demanding and all indications are that this trend will increase in the future. Vehicles using LNG pollute less, so going for LNG is presented as a future strategy. Natural gas has the lowest environmental impact of all fossil fuels with high hydrogen to carbon ratio in its composition. LNG spills dissipate in the air and do not contaminate soil or water. As a vehicle fuel, it reduces emissions of nitrogen oxides by 70% and produces no sulfur compounds and particles.
Transordizia ‘s fleet is currently composed of 115 units (truck + trailer). It has 125 employees and in 2015 carried 22,000 vehicles.
(Source: Basque Government)