Network of 70 compressed natural gas filling stations announced
An announcement has been made that 70 compressed natural gas filling stations are in the process of being developed in Ireland to service trucks, vans and buses.
The network is to be provided under the European Causeway Project and oversight of the project will be by scientists at NUI Galway and Gas Networks Ireland (GNI).
The use of compressed natural gas is on the increase as the fuel type is being adopted for heavier modes of transport as it comes with green credentials, like low carbon emissions.
Transport companies who use this fuel find that they have cheaper running costs compared to traditional fossil fuels such as diesel.
NUI Galway will monitor the project and any research it gains will be fed back to gas operators throughout Europe, assisting in the development of similar projects across the Europe.
The Causeway project will cost €25 million supporting green energy. It has received €6.5 million in co-funding from the European Commission.
Gas Networks Ireland, which is a division of Ervia has responsibility for developing, maintaining and operating the natural gas transmission and distribution networks in Ireland.
The president of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said the research conducted by the university research team would form the basis of the first use of an alternative, sustainable transport fuel in Ireland.
“Within our Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy Research, in particular, we have built up a track record in sustainability research and innovation.”
He said this included decades of scientific and engineering expertise on renewable gas.
“We look forward to NUIG playing a key role in distilling and disseminating the results and impacts of the Causeway Project, not only for the benefit of Ireland, but to provide learnings to other EU member states too.”
Initial, the plan is to roll out 14 fast-fill compressed natural gas stations as the first significant deployment of compressed natural gas refuelling infrastructure in Ireland. They will be incorporated around existing filling stations. “That is the most logical pathway.
Head of commercial at Gas Networks Ireland, Denis O’Sullivan said “the development of a natural gas transport network will significantly decarbonise Ireland’s commercial fleet” – transport accounts for over one third of all energy used in Ireland,
A renewable gas injection facility will also be built in 2018 allowing biomethane to be introduced into the Irish natural gas grid for the first time. It will be generated from agricultural and food waste using what is known as anaerobic digestion technology
It is envisioned that compressed natural gas, and the soon to be introduced renewable gas (biomethane), would play a major role in making transport in Ireland cleaner.
“GNI is determined to play an important role in facilitating development of this new, cleaner transport network. It is particularly important that the advances we are making through this project, and through the work of NUIG, will play a role in changing the transport landscape throughout Europe.”
Up to €20,000 is available to Irish businesses through Ervia towards the purchase of a new natural gas vehicle.