Infrastructures for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) are continuing to develop strongly throughout Europe whether as fuel in maritime and heavy road transport or as an off-grid energy solution.
In this regard, Brussels-based association Gas Infrastructure Europe published a Small scale LNG map that provides the LNG industry and interested parties with an updated overview of the available, planned and announced small scale LNG infrastructure and services in Europe.
“In order to support its development, GIE continuously provides up-to-date information on the state and use of Europe’s LNG infrastructure,” said Arno Büx, President of Gas LNG Europe. “With the publication of the 2020 GIE small scale LNG map, GIE confirms its commitment to providing information, expertise and transparency tools to the European institutions, the regulatory bodies, the market and any other stakeholders. The rapid growth of small scale LNG illustrates its potential to pave the way to a greener energy future.”
For road transport, the existing trend has been confirmed: there are now about 280 LNG fuelling stations in operation, while the milestone of the 200th station was reached just one year ago.
On the other hand, for ships bunkering, the progress is even more striking. There are now none vessels dedicated to LNG bunkering, with five more expected to be delivered by the end of 2020, while three years ago there were only two.
Also, supplying industrial sites not connected to the gas grid is another expanding major usage of small scale LNG.
All these usages are benefitting from the development of versatile small scale infrastructure. They expand the geographic availability of small scale LNG onshore, on inland waterways or at sea. Furthermore, an additional step allowing the energy transition has been taken: liquid biomethane production plants are developing in several European countries.
As noted by GIE, LNG has great potential for replacing heavy fuel oil and diesel in freight transport and shipping, as well as in supply to industrial sites and communities not connected to a pipeline network. This is thanks to the LNG superior environmental performance. Indeed, LNG has a much smaller carbon footprint and switching to LNG brings an immediate benefit on air quality and therefore health. Moreover, all LNG infrastructures are “carbon neutral ready”: they can immediately manage, without any limitation, liquid biomethane (which is already happening) or synthetic methane (which includes green hydrogen), or can adapt to other carbon-neutral molecules.