Refuelling and filling up with energy at Endesa’s gas station in Valdemoro. Participants of the eleventh edition of the LNG Blue Corridor Rally for natural gas-powered vehicles and, in particular, for LNG trucks, arrived in Madrid from Lisbon, which saw the start of this particular sustainable race. The vehicles, which will cover 5,700 km in 18 days, travelling across 9 European countries, will reach St. Petersburg to coincide with the International Gas Forum.
More than forty vehicles, including light commercial vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles will take part in the 10 stages of the rally. The rally includes three stages on the Iberian Peninsula. The first, between Lisbon and Madrid, features 680 km and ends at Endesa’s refuelling station in Valdemoro. The second phase will be between Madrid and Barcelona, covering 640 km. The Iberian section of this rally has the collaboration of the Iberian Natural Gas Association for Mobility (GASNAM), together with several Spanish and Portuguese companies related to this alternative fuel. CORE LNGas hive Dourogás, Endesa, Ente Vasco de la Energía (EVE), Galp, Gas Natural Fenosa, Gasogas, Iveco, HAM, HAVI Logistics, Seat, STI GLonet, Transordizia and Vía Gas. An Iveco Stralis 400 HP tractor from the travelling exhibition of the CORE LNGas hive Project, will also take part in the first two stages of the rally until Zaragoza.
The LNG Blue Corridor Rally covers different routes each year, confirming the targets of the LNG Blue Corridors European project approved in 2013 and coordinated in Spain, which has highlighted the vast possibilities of liquefied natural gas, LNG, as the only alternative to petroleum-based fuels for heavy duty road transport, both nationally and internationally.
While refuelling at Endesa’s gas station and on behalf of the company, Miguel Barroso explained that “gas is the solution for heavy-duty transport, given its sustainability and price. When it is said to be a transitory solution… this may be the case, but it is the solution for the next fifteen years”. The head of Endesa Energía continued, “the company has a clear commitment which includes, in the medium term, inaugurating twelve new gas stations like the Valdemoro station: six in Spain, four in France and two in Portugal”.
Among the trucks taking part in the Iberian section is an Iveco Stralis 400 HP tractor from STI GLonet; another two Iveco Stralis with their relevant trailers, from Iveco Portugal and Transordizia and a Scania P340 from HAVI Logistics; all of them powered by LNG. In addition, several light duty CNG vehicles will take part. These include a Seat León TGI and a Fiat Punto from Dourogás.
According to figures issued by the National Traffic Department, in 2016 more than 1,100 vehicles using natural gas were registered, with the total fleet of vehicles easily exceeding 6,100 units, most of which were heavy-duty and vehicles suitable for intensive use. The use of natural gas as a fuel for this fleet prevents over 142,000 tonnes of diesel being used each year.
In addition, these vehicles, which comply with the European Euro 6 emission standards and use CNG/LNG as a fuel, can be classified as ‘near zero emission’ vehicles. NO2 emissions are practically non-existent. PM levels have been reduced by 96% on the limits established by the European regulation. It is therefore the real economic alternative to traditional diesel, with 30% savings for every kilometre covered compared with diesel and 50% compared with petrol.