The LNG Motion project, initiated by French natural gas supplier Axègaz in March 2016 together with Charles André Group (GCA), a transport and logistics company, is included on the proposed funding decision by the European Commission to be awarded with a EUR 27.8 million (USD 30.9m) grant from the Connecting Europe Facility for Transport (CEF-T).
Subsequently joined by PitPoint, a Netherlands supplier of natural gas and biomethane (renewable natural gas) with a growing network of natural gas filling stations in Belgium, Netherlands and more recently in Germany, the LNG Motion Action aims to pave the way for a large scale rollout of LNG fuelling stations for truck transport along the TEN-T core network corridors.
The project encompasses a study to evaluate the commercial, operational, technical, regulatory and environmental aspects of LNG fuelling in truck transport. In addition, the feasibility of using bio-LNG (RNG) as a fuel option and a standardised LNG fuelling payment system will be studied. Axègaz will perform a real-life trial in which 42 LNG fuelling stations are constructed across Europe.
The stations will be located along the TEN-T core network corridors covering France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy, Hungary and Romania. In addition, 200 LNG fuelled trucks will be deployed across the EU to gather data, while 400 more will be invested in, outside of the scope of this Action. Results of these real-life trials will facilitate the large scale rollout of LNG fuelling across Europe after the project period.
The proposed Action fits with the European Union (EU) policy to reduce CO2 emission and support the use of alternative fuels. Natural gas, in compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) form, has proven to be a clean alternative fuel source for truck transport. Currently, truck transport (mostly fuelled by diesel) is responsible for approximately 5% of the total EU CO2 emissions. LNG reduces the emission of Greenhouse gases (GHG) such as CO2 by around 15%, and the emission of particulate matter (PM), and NOx by up to 90% compared to diesel.
Out of a total budget of € 60 million available for projects within this specific CEF-T priority, which was highly oversubscribed, almost half went to the LNG Motion project, signifying the importance of its perceived contribution to EU goals within the priority “New Technologies and Innovation”.
Wouter Schilpzand, Senior consultant Hezelburcht: “The requirements for CEF-T proposals are high, and the competition is fierce. Any CEF-T application requires 100% commitment, and a good deal of preparation. Applicants Axègaz, clean fuel supplier PitPoint, Mabanaft and GCA, proved up to this challenge, and I am happy to congratulate them with this initial triumph!” (Mabanaft is a Hamburg-based family-owned company that operates in the fields of energy supply, trading and logistics.)
Edouard de Montmarin, Business Development Manager, Axègaz, states: “A large scale European network coverage combined with a big fleet of heavy goods vehicles will enable [us] to convince the market of all the environmental, technical and economic benefits of LNG as a near-future massive fuel for massive transport.”
The proposed funding decision must now be formally approved by the Connecting Europe Facility Coordination Committee, which will meet on 8 July 2016. Adoption of the decision by the Commission is expected for end July 2016.