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“We need a vision on taxation of gas as a fuel”
tuesday, 16. December 2014
Gasnam president Freire highlights challenges for gas vehicles in Spain
Gasnam, the Spanish Association of Natural Gas for Mobility, has almost doubled its membership since January, in a concerted bid to raise awareness among industry and societal stakeholders. José Ramón Freire, president of Gasnam, is optimistic about the future for natural gas in Spain.
“Efforts by our association to contact all relevant players, also in the maritime industry, are paying off”, said Freire, interviewed last month in Madrid. “Our next step is to contact all of the energy and transport entities in the different national and regional administrations in our country. We cannot yet say that all stakeholders know who we are and what we do, but we are sure we will reach this goal by the end of next year”.
What are the main hurdles for gas-powered mobility in Spain?
“Spain already has a good number of heavy-duty trucks and buses running on CNG in the urban environment, and is also the most advanced country in Europe with regard to LNG trucks for long-distance transport, with the limitation being the lack of more powerful trucks. The main hurdle is the lack of a medium to long-term vision on taxation of natural gas as a vehicle fuel”.
Gasnam's José Ramón Freire
Is EU Directive on alternative fuel infrastructure good for Spain?
“The Directive is going to be of great help to consolidate and develop the different private initiatives regarding LNG and CNG stations. We are in contact with the ministry in charge, in order to give our help for the implementation of the Directive."
How is Gasnam perceived by the government?
“Our advantage is that we represent all activities related to natural gas as a fuel in a single organisation. Our feeling is that the government is well aware of our activities and we already have achieved a high level of credibility”.
Association member Gas Natural Fenosa just announced to significantly expand the refuelling infrastructure for LNG in Spain. Could you elaborate on these plans?
“It is a brave investment decision given the many challenges to developing the market that still exist today. The government is a key player in the process and will have to play an increasingly strong role to develop natural gas as a transportation fuel. To date no oil company in Spain has installed an LNG station yet, while there are hundreds for LPG and thousands for diesel and petrol. We see similar developments across Europe. Alternatives to oil-based fuels definitely need support to overcome the dominance of oil in transport, which has been lasting for the last 100 years”.
What are your expectations for Spain's market? What are the prospects of LNG as a fuel?
“Spain is very well positioned with LNG stations, as almost half of the country’s territory is already aligned with the 400 km distance reference between LNG refuelling points. However, the development of the market for gas-powered cars is still slow and will probably stay like that for a while. The Minister of Industry has declared that natural gas is going to be the fuel of the future. We expect to see a trend towards dual-fuel conversions. We are convinced LNG will play an increasingly important role in both road and maritime transport”.
Source: NGVA Europe
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