Natural gas as motor fuel brings environmental and economic advantages

September 2, 2019

Thus, NIS and Serbia became involved in this significant international project and played host to a caravan of vehicles that will cover more than 5.000 kilometers in this event and visit numerous towns and cities in Europe, including Serbia’s capital - Belgrade. The round table discussion held in NIS Administrative Centre was attended by gas producers, car makers, experts and media. They looked into benefits of natural gas as motor fuel in terms of economy and environment, as well as about the novelties in industry making cars driven by this type of fuel. The increased number of vehicles powered by the natural gas, CNG and LNG, growing number of filling points, natural gas emerges as a sustainable and environmentally acceptable alternative fuel available to consumers. Its use contributes to further decarbonisation of traffic and provides huge potential to reduce emissions in the future. In addition to NIS representatives, the round-table discussion has been attended by the representatives of the companies GAZPROM, UNIPER and IVECO. Goran Lalić, director of Department for trade and management of NIS natural gas portfolio moderated the session. Pavel Kandalintsev, director of NIS Retail Directorate, pointed out environmental advantages and financial benefits brought about by the use of compressed natural gas as a motor fuel, adding that prospects of NIS CNG retail development hinges on trends evolving in local market of this power source: “Compressed natural gas is yet another alternative type of fuel that we included in our offer available throughout our retail chain in addition to traditional petroleum products. At this juncture, Serbia has aproximately 1.000 vehicles powered by compressed natural gas and aproximately 20 filling points, three out of them owned by NIS. These are NIS Petrol “Novi Sad 10” and “Čačak 1” refuelling stations, as well as о GAZPROM-branded “Žarkovo 2” refuelling station in Belgrade. We seek to furhter expand NIS retail chain in terms of offering the compressed natural gas. very soon this power source will be included in the product range sold at GAZPROM-branded “Block 45“ refuelling station in Belgrade, while considering the launch of a CNG filling point at our refuelling station in the town of Niš. Further development of NIS in this segment hinges on trends evolving in the market at large“, Kandalintsev stressed. Detlef Wesling, UNIPER Technical Cooperation Director, voiced his hope as to the “Blue Corridor” project emerging as the booster for developing the Balkans natural gas market, Serbia included, and talked in elaborate terms about the environmental advantages of implementing the natural gas as the motor fuel. “Everyone is talking now about the climate change. What we have to say is that LNG does not contribute so much to CO2 reduction, just about 10 percent. However, if we talk about other benefits, which are also important during discussions in the EU, then we can say that LNG means a 95 percent reduction in particulate emissions, compared to diesel. In Germany, diesel trucks are no longer allowed to enter certain areas. Also, when it comes to noise - there is a 70 percent reduction when it comes to LNG. indeed, these are the benefits we need to keep in mind when it comes to the environmental sphere and why policy supports the development of these fuels in the EU“, Wesling said. Аndrе Schuman, Director of Technical Cooperation at UNIPER, presented the idea and history of the Blue Corridor event, stating that the key objective of the project is to present the benefits of using natural gas as a propellant, as well as the prospect of developing this type of energy in the global market: „In addition to pointing out the benefits of using natural gas as a propellant, the aim of caravan vehicles is to show that there is adequate retail and transport infrastructure to develop this type of energy. In addition to caravan vehicles, we also organize roundtables, which has proven to be good practice as we have the opportunity to exchange views when it comes to the current state, as well as about the prospects for developing the natural gas market“. Marko Hodalić, Sales Manager of Natural Gas Vehicles for Central and Eastern Europe at IVECO spoke about the benefits of using LNG vehicles, emphasizing their cost effectiveness. „What is interesting is that in our market we have a big price difference between diesel and compressed natural gas and this is what gives our customers an economic calculation to make a plus over diesel. So, for example, if you finance a vehicle on LNG and pay a monthly installment, you will have more installments for a gas vehicle, because it is more expensive to purchase, but at the same time you will make much more fuel savings, so you will be in the first month, " Hodalić pointed out, adding that using LNG vehicles has a low carbon intensity, as well as being able to be stored and distributed with minimal losses. For the second time, NIS is part of the big international “Blue Corridor” project, as in 2014 it was the organizer of a round-table discussion held in honor of this event. As a leader in the oil derivatives market in Serbia, NIS is the first large network of gas stations in the domestic market to include as a part of its retail network the offer of compressed natural gas (CNG), and this energy source, which is considered to be the fuel of the future, is also available through the company wholesale system. As part ofthe international “Blue Corridor” event an exhibition of vehicles using the gas as the power fuel has been staged outside NIS Administrative Centre in Belgrade,. The «Blue Corridor» is an international event traditionally taking place since 2008. Over 200 originally-equipped vehicles took part in the project over its lifetime. Altogether they have driven over 55 000 kilometers, passing over 130 cities in countries of Europe and Asia. The event has a different focus every year. The caravan of vehicles will this year symbolically connect the lines of two brand-new pipelines under construction, the Nord Stream 2 and the Turk Stream. The Blue Corridor Rally 2019 edition will consist of 2 stages the European and the Russian part. The both rally teams will gather for the ceremonial finish at St Petersburg International Gas Forum, where a special session will be focusing on use of gas in transport. During the so-called European leg of the event, the vehicles participating in the rally, shall cover almost 5.000 kilometers as they pass through a dozen cities and towns on their route from Istanbul up to Greifswald. The Caravan sets out from Russia, at the «Russkaya» booster station, the starting point of the pipeline «Turkish Stream», whereby the two sections of the caravan will join together for the ceremonial finish of the event, taking place on October 2, at St Petersburg International Gas Forum, , where a special session will be focusing on use of gas in transport.