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Rolande opens new generation of LNG filling stations

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LNG Industry,

Rolande, a market leader in building infrastructures for LNG and bio-LNG for trucks in the Netherlands is now also entering the German market. For this, the company has opened its first own CNG/LNG filling station in Ulm.

Before the end of this year, further new LNG locations with partners in Dortmund, Duisburg, Grasdorf, Lübeck and Ziesar will follow. A further expansion of the network is planned in Germany for 2021. Rolande will operate exclusively public filling stations that can be used by any customer. Each of these filling stations are equipped for a later use of bio-LNG. This way, heavy long-distance haulage in all of Germany will be able to profit from the cost and sustainability advantages of LNG.

Iconic architecture – ideal for CNG/LNG trucks

The filling station – with a futuristic look thanks to its waved roofs and the high and slender LNG tank – was opened yesterday by Jolon van der Schuit, Rolande CEO, Director of Sales and Marketing of Iveco Magirus AG, Christian Sulser, and the Lord Mayor of the City of Ulm, Gunter Czisch.

The characteristic white and green Rolande design not only adds a new optical touch, but it is also functionally adjusted optically to the requirements of LNG trucks.

Model of success

The plant is a traditional public 24/7 self-serve petrol station with two LNG pumps and two CNG pumps with capacities guaranteeing swift fuelling without long waiting periods. With a daily capacity for up to 150 vehicles and large driveways, the filling station has the ideal dimensions for heavy-load trucks. It not only contributes with this to gradually further establish LNG as an environmentally friendlier fuel, but in light of the existing LNG network of merely 21 operating public filling, Rolande, with its six locations, has made an important contribution to the organisation of a network in Germany. Furthermore, Rolande supports transport companies that want to switch to high-caloric CNG (CNG+), LNG or Bio-LNG, and is also already working on building an infrastructure for the production and use of Bio-LNG for trucks.

Sustainable and economical

“LNG must be available for all trucks – also in Germany,” says Jolon van der Schuit, CEO of Rolande. “We believe that LNG not only makes transport more environmentally friendly but, at the same time, also more profitable. And everyone should get something out of that. This is why we want to supply all customers in Germany with the cleanest and most efficient deployable fuel of this time: LNG! We are not only building filling stations for this but are also organising the entire sales and marketing chain from import to nationwide full-area coverage with the offer. In doing so, we will continuously develop new concepts for a future nationwide offer in Germany and other European countries. We also provide our entire competence of many years to our customers. This applies to both the sustainable handling of resources as well as the economically optimal use of LNG.”

EU sponsorship

The filling station in Ulm is part of the Connect2LNG project that is financed by the CEF programme of the European Commission. The aim of the Connect2LNG project is the development of a European LNG fuelling network by commissioning five stations in Germany and France. “It is clear that the future of transport is the gradual and continuous decarbonisation of the sector, and both the European Commission with its Green Deal as well as INEA with the projects overseen by it have contributed to reaching the ambitious goal of an emission-free transport sector,” explained Dirk Beckers, Director of INEA. “The opening of this LNG filling station in Germany is a significant contribution to building a low-emission European transport network along the Rhine-Danube corridor. The Connect2LNG project plays an important role in the fight against climate change and I am happy that the EU can support it financially within the scope of the Connecting Europe Facility.”

“We have evaluated various engine alternatives including e-mobility and have come to the decision that the currently CNG-driven commercial vehicles are best suited for our specific requirements,” said Sven Sauerwein, Head of the Central Department of Logistics Services, Transgourmet Deutschland GmbH & Co. OHG. “We have been using 15 CNG-driven trucks for two years and have not had a breakdown reported to date. Our drivers are also completely enthusiastic about the quiet running and low noise emissions of the CNG engines. In summary, based on the experience from the past two years, it can be said that we are planning for the future to include further CNG trucks in our fleet to thereby get one step closer to our goal of being the most sustainable enterprise in our industry in Germany. We are welcoming Rolande’s step to further expand the CNG/LNG filling station network in Germany to continue to push ahead the use of natural gas in the transport industry.”

Public LNG subsidies in Germany

The use of CNG and LNG is state subsidised in Germany. Trucks that run on compressed or LNG are exempted from the German road toll until 31 December 2023. The operators thereby save up to €0.187 in road tolls on each driven kilometre. Moreover, the operators profit from state subsidies for purchases of new vehicles until the end of 2020. The state subsidy amounts up to €12 000 for an LNG truck and up to €8000 for a CNG truck. LNG trucks are not only economically attractive but also sustainable. Compared to a diesel truck, the NOx and particle emissions are significantly lower. Up to 95% of CO2 can be saved when using biogas.

“I have treated the subject of alternative drives for a few years. By now, we have switched 10% of our fleet to liquefied gas. With a mileage of 120 000 km per vehicle, this switch reduces the CO2 emission by several millions of kilograms in five years,” explains Bernhard Reichert, Managing Shareholder of BTK Befrachtungs- und Transportkontor GmbH. “We have provided proof through our LNG fleet that the vehicles can be deployed and used analogously to diesel trucks. We would like to increase the portion of LNG vehicles but the infrastructure for fuelling must be provided before then. We more than welcome Rolande’s entry into the LNG market with their own filling stations in Germany. The better the LNG fuelling infrastructure is developed, the greater the acceptance for the LNG technology will become.”

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LNG news in Europe