Italy first in Europe in heavy LNG transport

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Milan 29/07/2019 – In recent months, Italy has overtaken Spain for the number of service stations for trucks that use liquefied natural gas (LNG), becoming the leading operator in the sector in Europe. The ConferenzaGNL notes this on the basis of the data published by REF-E in the abstract of the interim report 2019 “SSLNG Watch” (https://www.ref-e.com/it/downloads/sslng-watch/monitoraggio-del-mercato-degli-usi-finali-del-gnl-in-italia-rapporto-intermedio-i-semestre-2019-abstract); the full version is reserved for subscribers.

The stations for trucks in Italy are now 53, of which 15 opened since the beginning of the year. Another 9 plants are equipped with a cryogenic tank but only deliver compressed gas (L-CNG) for the cars. The Spanish Gasnam specialized site reviews 44 plants in Spain, all for truck refueling. According to NGVA Europe (Natural Gas Vehicle Association), Italy and Spain are followed by France with 31 plants, Holland 24, Great Britain 13, Belgium 10. Germany is still behind, with only 6 plants but entered the sector only two years ago.

Worldwide, China is in first place with around 1,300 LNG stations and 80,000 trucks (Google search system data), followed by Europe with 218 (NGVA census updated with the most recent openings in Italy and Spain) and over 5,000 trucks, almost 2,000 of which are registered in Italy; in third place is the United States, with 144 plants registered by NGV America.

REF- E points out among the other main innovations of the semester the start of the authorization procedure for the supply of tankers at the OLT floating regasification terminal of Livorno. As also reported in the conclusions of the International Conference by ConferenzaGNL held on May, Italy’s European record is put at risk by the indispensability of the “Ventimiglia corridor”, covered by almost 100% of the trucks that supply LNG from the regasification plants in Marseille and Barcelona.

Other REF-E news the announcement of the operation by August 2020 of the Higas LNG coastal depot in Santa Giusta (Oristano, Sardinia), start of the methanisation of the Island, the conclusion of the tender for LNG loading arms for the Porto Torres depot project , also in Sardinia, the selection of the subjects interested in the Augusta deposit project.

The summary of the intermediate report of the SSLNG Watch also deals with the issue of the regulation of small-scale LNG services, in particular as regards the tariff system of isolated networks fed with vaporized liquid methane, a topic of particular interest for the methanization of Sardinia.

On the price front, REF-E notes how the decoupling of the wholesale LNG price from the oil price in the first half of this year has significantly increased the competitiveness of the small LNG market, particularly in comparison with diesel both for land and sea transport.

Source: Press release ConferenzaGNL