National LNG Platform: No Excise Increase (The Netherlands)
Excise duty on LNG will not be increased, as the plans the government announced during the State Opening of Parliament (Prinsjesdag) show, The National LNG Platform said in a statement.
The decision is a reversal of the earlier announced increase of the excise duty on LNG. The National LNG Platform welcomes the decision, as it provides the basis for the breakthrough of LNG as an alternative, cleaner fuel for road transport in the Netherlands.
In 2012, the coalition agreement included an increase of the excise duty on LPG. As a result of the link between LNG and LPG, both gaseous fuels, this would automatically imply an excise increase on LNG, from 18 to 31 cents per kilo of LNG. According to the National LNG Platform, the consequences for new, innovative developments would be disastrous. In the past few months, a study that was published in July and conducted on the instructions of the Ministry of Economic Affairs provided insight into the possible economic impact of the introduction of LNG as a transport fuel for road transport, inland waterway transport and coastal shipping: € 2.7 billion in additional economic growth and 8,000 man years between now and 2030. The proposed excise increase would have put a stop to this promising development. Intensive discussions with the government on alternatives ensued. The new plans delay the increase that was planned in the coalition agreement for at least five more years.
Platform chairman Gerrit van Tongeren stated: ‘The introduction of LNG as a transport fuel puts the Netherlands ahead of other European countries. We now have the opportunity to expand on this lead. Following a period of insecurity, transport companies in the Netherlands now have clarity. For them, this removes the main obstacle to switching to LNG!’
The National LNG Platform will remain committed to the development of an appropriate LNG excise policy. The current equal treatment of LNG and LPG lacks any clear foundation. The Motor Vehicles Memorandum (Autobrief) and the revision of the EU Energy Taxation Directive provide opportunities to engage in discussions with the government in order to achieve a structural and appropriate tax regime for LNG.
In the ‘Rhine and Wadden Green Deal’, the private and public sectors work together to enable the accelerated development of this innovative application of LNG into a mature fuel option. Apart from economic aspects, this alliance also addresses safety aspects and the environmental impact of LNG. These are important conditions as well for a smooth and unambiguous licence-granting process.
LNG World News Staff, September 19, 2013; Image: GATE