Great news for Pilsen’s motorists! The environmental and economic benefits of clean natural gas will soon reach the Czech city.
Leading natural gas supplier VEMEX will be opening a new compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station in Pilsen, the Czech Republic’s fourth most populated city, on 6 March. This is a very positive change for the residents of the Pilsen region, as the area currently only has two CNG stations. Other regions in the Czech Republic, like Prague and Central Bohemia already have between six and seven CNG stations, allowing natural gas vehicle (NGV) drivers to travel about more easily.
Pilsen’s new CNG station, constructed by Adast Engineering, will ensure high standards of service for customers. It will operate 24/7 and contain two dispensing hoses, as well as payment terminals integrated into the stand to provide the option of paying for gas through dedicated CNG cards or credit cards. In addition, the configuration of the technology and dispensers will allow the station to fill about 10 cars per hour.
VEMEX has been leading the construction of public CNG stations in the Czech Republic and will be opening at least another 10 to 20 stations this year, according to statements from Marketing Director Hugo Kysilka in a press release.
Increasingly more CNG stations are opening
This new station will add to the already rapidly growing number of CNG stations in Europe, and the Czech Republic in particular, indicating an increase in demand for natural gas in the region.
- Right now, there are more than 6,700 CNG vehicles in the Czech Republic, according to Jan Ruml, executive director of the Czech Gas Association. That is approximately 2,000 more than last year.
- The Czech Republic will have 53 CNG stations when the new station in Pilsen opens, compared to 45 in 2012. Most importantly, there are plans to have about twice as many before the end of this year.
- CNG consumption by NGVs in the Czech Republic increased by 44% in 2013.
A roadmap for the future of CNG stations
The future for CNG consumption in the Czech Republic looks very bright, as indicated by the investment in CNG stations by natural gas companies and the implementation of policies to promote alternative fuels in transportation by the government. Specifically:
- Two large gas companies, VEMEX and E.ON, invested approximately Kč 500 million in order to build and enhance their Czech networks of CNG stations. Therefore, the number of stations in the country is expected to triple within five years. Kysilka confirmed that the company plans to build filling stations at a rate of 15 per year in the next three years.
- The Czech Ministry of Environment has been implementing several policies that are conducive to the use of CNG in vehicles. Most recently, it announced the provision of a Kč 1 billion subsidy towards the replacement of gasoline buses with buses that operate on CNG, as well as the construction of 10 more filling stations across the country.
CNG stations bring environmental and economic benefits
The efforts of both the Czech government and private sector companies to make CNG more available to motorists indicate the widespread recognition of the added value that CNG use has. As Kysilka notes, “The current supply of conventional fuels is expanded by an alternative which is environmentally friendly and significantly reducing operating costs in transport.”
The most significant benefits that draw individuals and companies to CNG-fueled vehicles are the following:
- CNG is environmentally friendlier than conventional fuels, as gas engines emit 25% less carbon dioxide and 75% less carbon monoxide than petrol-fueled engines.
- CNG helps reduce operating costs in transport: As Energy in Depth’s Joe Massaro pointed out last week, natural gas is a less expensive fuel option than diesel, providing potential cost savings for both the industry and energy consumers.
The rapid rate at which CNG stations are being constructed is simplifying customer access to natural gas. Couple this with natural gas’s lower cost at the pump and ability to reduce pollution, and it is clear that this fuel is the future of transportation.