HAM Group, through its subsidiaries HAM Criogénica and Vakuum, has been responsible for designing, building and start-up of two mobile Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) units in Switzerland. The company is the first to provide such a solutions in this country, where until now there has been no LNG service station infrastructure despite the maturity of the market and its use in neighbouring European countries.
Lidl Switzerland, together with its transport partners KMT, Krummen Kerzers AG and Thurtrans AG, are aiming to deliver sustainable logistics, allowing the transport of goods where eventually no fossil fuels are used. The equipment supplied has a capacity of 40 m3 and “saturation on the fly” technology, which allows the supply of liquefied natural gas to the different brands of trucks on the market.
Georg Kröll, CEO of Lidl Switzerland, said the opening of the LNG stations is an important step towards the sustainability of the company, which will be able to supply its stores without using fossil fuels by 2030. To mark the special occasion, liquefied biomethane (LBG) was used for refuelling which is virtually carbon-neutral (carbon extracted balances the carbon emitted when the methane is used, therefore making the methane both renewable and carbon neutral.) depending on source of supply.
One of the facilities was built on the grounds of the Lidl goods distribution center on the Dunantstrasse in Weinfelden in the canton of Thurgau. In order to ensure the supply of liquefied natural gas on the important Swiss east/west axis, another LNG filling station has gone into operation in Sévaz.
“Goodbye Diesel – Hello LNG”
“Together, we are pioneering the establishment of alternative propulsion systems and paving the way for a more sustainable future. The opening of the gas station today is another milestone in the development of the infrastructure. We operate these and other future gas stations that are being built as part of the “Goodbye Diesel – Hello LNG” project”, Krummen Kerzers said in a related press release.
In April this year, the “Goodbye Diesel – Hello LNG” project earned Lidl Switzerland and Krummen Kerzers the HANSE GLOBE 2019 award. The food discounter and its transport partner collaborated to introduce 20 LNG-powered Volvo trucks and refueling facilities. In response, Alessandro Wolf, COO of Lidl Switzerland, emphasised: “Our project stands for pioneering spirit in the field of sustainability. We want to show that sustainable logistics and profitability are not mutually exclusive. The renowned HANSE GLOBE Award honours and promotes our commitment and cooperation.”
Renewable natural gas (RNG or biomethane) is available in Switzerland but not yet in sufficient quantity to fully replace fossil natural gas as a fuel for mobility. According to IEA Bionenegy, “There is still a considerable sustainable potential for further production of biogas and biomethane in Switzerland.” NGVA Europe says that in 2030 a conservative estimation shows a production potential close to 45 billion m3 (bcm) compared to today’s approximately 2 bcm. This will, theoretically, be able to supply the entire fuel demand from the 13 million unit fleet estimated to be around 30 bcm.
LNG Advantages for Mobility
The supply of LNG with the two mobile units of Grupo HAM will allow Lidl Switzerland to enjoy the following advantages:
- Reduce by 15% the emission of CO2 (20% in the case of HPDI diesel engines)
- Reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides by 35%
- Reduce by 95% the emission of fine particles
- Reduce engine noise by 50%, compared to gasoline engines
Ham Criogénica specializes in carrying out energy projects related to natural gas and is endorsed by more than 300 projects, carried out in recent years, around LNG. For its part, Vakuum specializes in the construction, repair and maintenance of structures to store gas in a liquid and gaseous state.
Swiss Tax Concession: In the mobility sector, the amendment of the Mineral Oil Tax Act from July 2008 enabled the fiscal promotion of environmentally friendly and socially acceptable fuels. Biofuels such as renewable natural gas are completely or partially relieved from the mineral oil tax if they comply with ecological and social minimum criteria. This amendment is limited in time and is going to disappear after mid-2020. The future strategy for promoting biofuels is currently being discussed with the revision of the CO2 act for the period after 2020. A parliamentary initiative asks to extend the period for the fiscal promotion of biofuels after mid-2020. (Source: IEA Bioenergy – Switzerland 2018 Update)
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