NGV Global News finds local governments in the Netherlands are increasingly turning to biogas (biomethane) as an alternative fuel for their vehicles.  Garbage dumps, organic household waste, and sewage sludge – sometimes blended with natural gas – are now powering cars, buses and trolley buses in several local communities in the country. Dutch national legislation calls for 10% of the energy used in the transport sector to be derived from renewable energy by 2020.

Liquified natural gas (LNG) was a popular topic this week. Currently, LNG is used almost exclusively for electricity generation. It is principally used for transporting natural gas to markets, where it is regasified and distributed as pipeline natural gas for electric utilities. In Small scale LNG – about to boom? Energy Global explains the difference between large scale LNG and small scale LNG and the factors that have made the former a success so far (eg. its ease of transportation and storage capability and ability to integrate into the electric grid).  Small scale LNG is better suited to off-grid applications, heavy road and water transportation which are currently powered by diesel. While small scale is a potential substitute for diesel (particularly in marine transport), it has yet to be economic or faces regulatory barriers. However, with the move by many countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels it is possible regulatory barriers will soon be removed enabling the demand for this product to increase.

The Financial Times writes about the increasing demand for ships that transport LNG and the rise of Chinese shipyards specializing in the construction of these vessels. LNG ships were a niche market in 2002, when, there were just 126 LNG carriers in the world. By 2015 that number is expected to reach 485. “A rise in demand for small- and large-scale LNG carriers, offshore units, and related service vessels could be the industry’s saving grace as the Chinese and US energy industries capitalize on massive reserves and LNG becomes a global commodity.”

Reuters looks at LNG ports in Ports eye LNG as marine fuel but shift will be slow. Ports around the world are considering liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a ship fuel in a drive to reduce CO2 emissions. Rotterdam and Singapore ports, both major international sea transportation hubs, recently announced plans to invest in LNG facilities. However, industry observers say the high cost of adding LNG storage facilities will slow this process even though LNG is cost competitive with diesel as a marine transportation fuel. LNG can reduce a ship’s CO2 emissions by 25% and cut its sulphur emissions by as much as 80%. Todate LNG is being used primarily by harbour vessels rather than ocean-going vessels. Lloyd’s Register said the use of LNG as marine fuel will pick up only from 2019 and by 2025 will make up 3% to 8% of global bunker fuel demand and only 1.5% to 4%t of total global LNG demand. A green field LNG terminal costs in the $5 billion to $7 billion range.

NGV Global News adds that Gazprom Export (Russia) and Gasunie (the Netherlands) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the development of small scale LNG. The purpose is to make LNG available for distribution to marine bunkering and truck fuelling stations. The Memorandum says: “The development of small-scale LNG is important because of the superior environmental benefits of LNG as a motor fuel for both ships and trucks. LNG as a transport fuel is a solution for the transport sector which, in particular for shipping, will be confronted with stringent EU emission requirements as of 2015.”

greener ideal says yellow school buses in North America will soon be running on natural gas. Thomas Built Buses, he leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, has announced plans to build a natural gas powered bus within the next three years using a 6.7-liter CNG engine.

Burgas, Bulgaria (located on the Black Sea coast) is soon to see CNG buses on its streets reports NGV Global News. Polish manufacturer Solaris Bus and Coach will supply 38 Solaris Urbino 12 CNG buses, with the order to be completed in the first half of 2013.

In the US city of Dallas, Texas the Dallas Area Rapid Transit has started running small CNG powered buses in neighbourhoods with narrow streets we learn from WFAA.

Tulsa World informs us the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is buying 40 CNG trucks. “The purchase is in response to Governor Mary Fallin’s initiative to convert the state fleet to compressed natural gas to save money, help the environment and work toward U.S. energy independence.” The Turnpike Authority has one compressed natural gas refueling station and is looking at adding more.

WPRI says in the US state of Rhode Island Waste Management has introduced 48 new CNG-powered waste and recycling collections vehicles. At the same time, the state opened its first CNG refueling station. Waste Management collects solid waste and recycling throughout the state.

NGV Global News says 100 German natural gas refuelling stations have completely converted to biomethane. The biomethane is made from agricultural residues such as straw. Since it has the same chemical composition and quality as natural gas, it can be blended with it in any ratio and safely used in all natural gas vehicles.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,