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Methane corridor through Europe - a feasible step from diesel

Trucks that transit Europe by running on liquefied methane - this was the topic of a Scandria conference and workshop in Malmö on 14-15 June. It was organized by the Swedish Transport Administration which, within Work Package No. 3 of the Scandria project, conducts research with regard to alternative fuels for road transport. In the future, diesel will be gradually replaced by alternative fuels. And liquefied methane is close at hands while other commercially available alternatives are rather suitable for regional or local transports bridging shorter distances.

"A ‘methane transport corridor' can be possible even though there are several technical challenges as well as market thresholds", said Staffan Johannesson, consultant at Ecoplan, who conducted a feasibility study titled "Corridor of liquefied biomethane for road transports" on behalf of the Swedish Transport Administration.

According to that study, the main cornerstones are already in place: There is a potential for fuel supply based on liquefied natural gas as main fuel, supplemented by biogas. Moreover, there are already several vehicles that run on methane, even though their number is still limited to a few brands. And there are interested customers as well.

With regard to the business environment, Markus Sporer has compared the situations in Sweden and Germany in terms of a market for heavy duty trucks running liquefied methane. In that context, he has found the atmosphere as far more favorable in Sweden than in Germany.
In any case, communication and trust between the different actors are crucial in order to further the cooperation in this field. This is also confirmed by the market strategy from Volvo Trucks to first get the methane/diesel truck established on the Swedish market and then take it to UK and the Netherlands. Central Europe, considered as a difficult market for that kind of technology, may follow way down the line.

Ulrike Assig, representing the Scandria lead partner ‘Joint Spatial Planning Department Berlin-Brandenburg', stressed the practical relevance of projects. She appreciated the wider approach to the question about how to green the Scandria corridor comprising scientific expertise as well as the inclusion of companies. Overall, the approach of greening the corridor had to be more market oriented.

Presentations

  • Dr.-Ing. Ulrike Assig, Joint Spatial Planning Department of Berlin and
    Brandenburg. Download: Assig
  • Martin Seifert from the Swiss Gas and Water Industry Association. Download: Seifert
  • Mats Franzén, Manager Engine Strategy and Planning at Volvo Trucks. Download: Franzén
  • Markus Sporer, University of Gothenburg. Download: Sporer
  • Staffan Johannesson, senior consultant from Ecoplan. Download: Johannesson