NGVA Europe’s 4th International Show and Workshops is now concluded, leaving a powerful legacy of information sharing and discussion, trade connections, product launch and commitments toward sharing the responsibility of natural gas development both regionally and worldwide. Hosted by Energigas Sverige, the event had 60 exhibitors including Volvo and Fiat, and an attendance of more than 1500.
Speaking at the event opening Anders Mathiasson, Managing Director of the Swedish Gas Association (Energigas) told participants and visitors of Sweden’s drive to promote biogas in different transport sectors in Sweden today, thereby keeping his country at the forefront of natural gas vehicle (NGV) technology.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Daniela Rosca, Head of the Unit for Clean Transport and Sustainable Urban Mobility, European Commission; Gerhard Holtmeier, NGVA Europe President; Mariarosa Baroni, NGV Italy President; Niklas Gustavsson, Senior Vice President Volvo Group; and Claudio Kohan, NGV Communications Group Director.
The message from Daniela Rosca in the opening workshop was clear – Europe cannot continue to burn EUR 1 billion of imported oil per day. The EC is aiming to improve energy efficiency through a number of projects including the LNG Blue Corridors project which aims to establish LNG as a real alternative for medium & long distance transport – first as a complementary fuel and later as an adequate substitute for diesel. The project has set the goal to build approximately 14 new LNG or L-CNG stations, both permanent and mobile, on critical locations along identified Blue Corridors whilst building up a fleet of approximately 100 Heavy Duty Vehicles powered by LNG. Rosca’s summary – “We want and we can”.
The Blue Corridor Project is co-funded by the EC and 27 partners, all of whom are members of NGVA Europe, which has grown from 15 members in 2008 to more than 150 today.
Rosca’s presentation was followed by Executive Vice President Public & Environmental Affairs at Volvo Group, Niklas Gustavsson, who spoke of Volvo’s effort to create sustainable transport solutions that take into consideration the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability. He said Volvo proved it is possible to build trucks using alternative fuels such as natural gas, describing methane as “one of the most accessible alt-fuels”.
Gustavsson reiterated Rosca’s call for close cooperation and investment toward sustainable mobility, at the same time humorously trumping Rosca by summarizing, “we want, we can, we do!”
NGVA Europe and NGV Global used the event as an opportunity to affirm collaborative action, particularly with regards building and delivering effective policy positions and arguments related to natural gas (CNG, LNG, biomethane) implementation, not just for on-road transportation but also for marine, rail and off-road applications. Natural gas vehicle associations and members have a long history of overcoming technology and policy issues; our experience will help inform other transportation sectors and ease the passage for natural gas to be adopted as a mainstream fuel.