Belgian transporter Eric Mattheeuws has acquired 26 LNG-powered trucks and Fluxys is investing in a brand-new LNG filling station. The station will be built in Veurne on the premises of the haulage company and is to be operational in the summer. This initiative is seen as an important step in the launch of LNG as a sustainable alternative fuel for trucks in Belgium.
Eric Mattheeuws, who last week won the Green Truck Award at the Transport & Logistics Awards 2014, said: “The switchover to LNG means a drastic reduction in emissions from the trucks and has considerable financial advantages as well. With Fluxys’s investment in the LNG filling station, the logistics supply chain is now complete. We have developed a unique partnership with Fluxys, Eni, Volvo Trucks and Romac Fuels to promote LNG as a valid alternative to bio-petroleum. The initial tests are very promising. If, six months after opening the filling station, you read about additional investments being made, then you can be sure that LNG has begun its conquest!”
Fluxys CEO Walter Peeraer said: “Transporters are holding off on switching to LNG for lack of filling stations and no filling stations are being built because there are no customers. By joining forces with transporter Eric Mattheeuws, we are breaking this vicious circle and lowering the threshold for other transporters to make the switch to LNG as a sustainable alternative to diesel.”
The filling station will have a 60 m3 LNG storage tank; all permits have been granted so that construction can start. The station will be supplied by tanker truck from the LNG terminal in Zeebrugge. Transporter Eric Mattheeuws will operate and perform minor maintenance on the station, which will also be accessible to other transport companies.
For Fluxys, the filling station is a pilot project in terms of engineering, technology, permitting and investment. The experience gained with the project and the feedback from Eric Mattheeuws as transporter and operator of the station is to yield recommendations and best practices Fluxys can use when building additional stations.
LNG: immediate improvement in air quality
LNG has a very promising future in freight transport and shipping due to its favourable emissions profile. Compared to diesel or heavy fuel oil, natural gas has the smallest carbon footprint and switching to natural gas also has an immediate impact on air quality and health:
- up to 20% less CO2;
- up to 90% less nitrogen oxide (NOx);
- negligible quantity of sulphur and particulates.
Volvo Trucks for Mattheeuws
Mattheeuws began trialing a Volvo MethaneDiesel truck in the spring of 2013, using a vehicle transferred from Sweden. Those first results were promising. However, to be employed in all departments at Mattheeuws they decided to make the test even more concrete: A Volvo FM Methane-Diesel truck was built with optimized powertrain and chassis specifications for Mattheeuws transportation. After a summer of testing Eric Mattheeuws said, “We had obviously counted on good results, but that the results would be very positive and exceeded our wildest expectations in practice we saw that we could replace LNG, which is indeed up to 75% diesel not only cost savings with them. entails, but also lower CO2 emissions.”
The new Volvo FM MethaneDiesel is offered with a 13-liter engine with an output of 460 hp and torque of 2300 Nm. The engine works on the principle of dual-fuel. This technique provides a higher return compared with mono-fuel engines, which are fully powered by gas and where the fuel is ignited by spark plugs. A methane-diesel truck offers the same high performance as a diesel engine.
(Source: Fluxys and Volvo Trucks)