It is four years since Enora, a company formed by ENGIE Electrabel, G&V Energy Group and the Picardy Wallonia Inter-Communal Development Agency (Ideta), inaugurated the first CNG service station in Wallonia, in the city of Tournai, home of Belgium’s heritage-listed Notre Dame Cathedral (12th century). Today, Wallonia has twenty five Compressed Natural Gas filling stations and more are planned as part of a rapidly expanding nation-wide network.
DATS 24, Total (via its subsidiary PitPoint) and gas.be have met to take stock and discuss prospects for ongoing development. The key actors of the sector met in Tournai in the presence of the Walloon Minister of Energy Jean-Luc Crucke to celebrate the journey and to reiterate their goal to convince citizens and businesses to move towards cleaner and less expensive mobility.
Wallonia’s CNG Story
In April 2015, when Enora inaugurated the first CNG station in Wallonia, Flanders already had 25. Four years later, the Belgian network has quintupled with nearly 120 CNG stations. Wallonia now has 25 stations, Brussels 2 and Flanders 94.
In April 2015, when Enora opened the first CNG station in Wallonia, there were already 25 in Flanders. Four years later, the Belgian network has increased fivefold with nearly 120 CNG stations. Wallonia now has 25 stations, Brussels 2 and Flanders 94.
Olivier Bontems, Energy and Special Projects Department of IDETA, one of Enora’s partners said: “We are proud to have launched the CNG in Wallonia. The fact that both DATS 24 and Total, through its subsidiary PitPoint, have agreed to join us today demonstrates the willingness of the players in the sector. It should be noted that two thirds of the projects in the coming year are planned in a Walloon municipality or city: Peruwelz, Aubange, Arlon, Loverval, Couillet, Manage, Liège, Bierghes on the E411, Houdeng, Basècles, Frameries, Ath, Courcelles, Herve, Tournai, Pecq, Amay, Quaregnon, Herstal or Nivelles. Our objective is to make the CNG available throughout Wallonia.”
Jean-Luc Crucke, Walloon Minister for Energy, confirms Wallonia’s ambition: “In 2018, the Walloon Government approved the Walloon Air-Climate Energy Plan, which sets ambitious targets for CNG and LNG for 2030, namely 220 CNG equipped stations and 25 LNG equipped stations. In order to reach its objectives, two calls for projects have already been launched in 2018 and 2019 for a total of more than 17 million euros. Good public-private collaboration is essential to achieving our alternative fuel goals.”
“In Europe, CNG is also up sharply (3500 operational stations) with ambitious expansion plans especially in France (250), Spain (300), Germany (1000) and Italy (+ 300)”, adds Didier Hendrickx, Public Affairs Manager of gas.be.
Natural gas plays a significant role in greening mobility
According to a recent study by the Electricity and Gas Regulatory Commission (CREG), natural gas has a role to play in greening Belgium’s mobility. It emits up to 16% less CO2 and significantly reduces emissions of fine particles and NOx.
Geert De Groote, Country Manager PitPoint Belgium, confirms the positive role played by the CNG in efforts to achieve cleaner mobility: “Driving at CNG is one of the many links in the transition to more sustainable mobility. If the car is the best option to organize its mobility, we believe that the CNG car is a very good alternative for long and short journeys. Green gas is even more sustainable and is considered to be the renewable successor of natural gas. The CO2 emission of this alternative fuel is almost neutral.”
Frédéric Dubois, Senior Advisor at the CREG, notes: “Compared to diesel, given the low difference in purchase price at the moment, which is cancelled by the €500 premium on the purchase of a CNG vehicle in the Walloon Region (valid until 30 June 2019) or by the exemption from road tax and traffic tax in Flanders (valid until 2020), CNG models are profitable on average from the first kilometre.”
The Seat Leon is available to Belgian motorists in CNG, petrol and diesel versions. With the CNG version, the driver saves from €0.80 to €8.31 per 100 kilometres driven.
With the CNG version of the Seat Arona, the first SUV in CNG, the driver saves €2.36 to €5.25 per 100 kilometres driven compared to the petrol and diesel version. Compared to a comparable plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle, the bonus per 100 km is €14.96 to €18.28 per 100 km driven.
Today, more than 14,600 Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) abound on Belgian roads.
For more information about the natural gas advantage in Belgium, go to gas.be.