DG Move Presents CPT Package in Spain

DG Move Presents CPT Package in Spain

European Commission representatives visited Madrid, Spain, on March 6th, to present the recently introduced Clean Power for Transport (CPT) package.

The roundtable event was an initiative of the EC Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move), organised by NGVA Europe and supported by Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF). Held at the headquarters of NGVA Europe BoD member GNF the gathering attracted more than 75 attendees, including high representation from the Spanish Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.

DG Move’s recent initiative includes a proposal for a Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure aimed at developing harmonised standards and most importantly setting clear targets for the infrastructure rollout of consolidated alternative fuels, among which compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) play an important role. The paper states 150 km max. distance between CNG and 400 km max. distance between LNG stations at national level to be implemented Europe-wide by 2020. In addition, the CPT package also contains an action plan for the development of LNG in shipping, proposing to install LNG refuelling stations in all 139 maritime and inland ports.

Antonio Tricas-Aizpún, Policy Officer of DG Move Unit “Clean Transport & Sustainable Urban Mobility”, underlined the necessity for quick action from the European industry to guarantee fruitful competition. “The first countries to lead the development of alternative fuels infrastructure will also lead the way in the sector”, he stated. In this regard the proposal for directive represents an attractive business opportunity for European companies involved in this field.

During the course of the presentation in Madrid, LNG was highlighted as the most promising fuel alternative to diesel in heavy transportation, for both maritime and road transport. Spain, with a long tradition in successful application of LNG, represents a fitting location for its increased development due to the country’s existing LNG infrastructure and also because of already approved projects further developing the corresponding infrastructure. The “Garnet Project” e.g., financed by the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and with participation by NGVA Europe members HAM and GNF, will create 7 new LNG refuelling stations along two corridors, providing the liquid fuel to more than 100 heavy trucks already operating in the Spanish peninsula.

Jose Ramón Freire, Head of Gas Natural Fenosa’s Mobility unit, highlighted the company’s leading role in the development of the Spanish LNG infrastructure. Natural gas is regarded the most promising fuel alternative to conventional transport fuels, provided that further incentives help spark the market by developing the corresponding infrastructure, he stated. The presentation of Jose Poblet, Cotenaval CEO, pointed out the advantages of LNG as a marine fuel. He emphasised that even though prices of gas engines are higher than those of other alternatives like scrubber, results for LNG application as a marine fuel are very positive and the amortisation of investments is guaranteed within a short period of time. The new ECAS zone regulation places LNG as the major alternative to heavy fuel oil for shipping. In addition, Juan Luis Pla, Head of transport unit from IDAE (Spanish Energy Diversification Institute) underlined the role of LNG as an alternative fuel that complies with both energy efficiency and life cycle assessment standards.

Biomethane also plays an important role in the Commission’s proposal for directive and the EC is already working on the technical specification for biomethane injection for use as a transport fuel, within the existing group CEN TC408, a technical group co-secretariat by NGVA Europe. NGVA Europe’s Technical Manager Jaime del Alamo presented an overview of the current technologies and CNG/LNG engines, the advantages of its use and its future potential, covering also the necessary D&R steps to be taken in the future. Other speakers presented different alternatives fuels also presents at CPT, such as electricity and hydrogen.

Presented in January 2013 the CPT documents have now entered the normal inter-institutional discussions with the European Parliament and the Council, until finally being adopted and becoming legally binding at the end of the political process, which can last up to two years. NGVA Europe was in close contact with EU officials and intensively contributed to the debate leading to this ground-breaking result for our industry.

Moreover, DG Moves intends to disseminate the Clean Transport package along the rest of the European countries and will work closely with NGVA Europe on this regard.

LNG World News Staff, March 15, 2013; Image: NGVA Europe