NGV 2012: The 5th International NGV Conference in Prague, Czech Republic
On 20 and 21 February 2012, the Czech Gas Association organised the 5th annual international conference and exhibition on the Prospects for the Development and Use of CNG in Transport, NGV Prague 2012. More than 170 registered delegates from 27 countries attended the conference. Almost 40% of them were guests from outside the Czech Republic. Contributions mainly focused on the development of the CNG refuelling infrastructure in the Czech Republic and the Central European region, the related legislation, and practical experience with CNG use. The conference was accompanied by a small-scale exhibition of NGV equipment and technologies and for participants from Israel and Iran a tour of several CNG refuelling stations in Prague was organised.
The conference was held under the auspices of Minister of Transport, and the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic. E.ON Energie, a.s. was the General Partner, and Bonett Gas Investment, a.s./IMW, Pražská plynárenská, a.s. and RWE were the Main Partners.
The conference was held for two days again and offered three streams, a roundtable discussion prepared in cooperation with the NGVA Europe, and the exhibition of NGV equipment and technologies. Deputy Minister of the Environment, Deputy Minister of Transport, President of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, President of Transport Union of the Czech Republic invited as guests of the conference. Guests invited from abroad included Mr Ho Sook Wah, IGU Coordination Committee Chairman, Malaysia, and Mr Manuel Lage, General Manager, NGVA Europe, Spain. Mr Jiří Šimek, Vice-Chairman, represented E.ON Energie, a.s. the General Partner of the conference.
In their addresses, the guests concurred in highlighting the benefits of natural gas in transport and the globally increasing demand for its use, which is also borne out by the growing volumes of CNG sales and numbers of NGVs sold. Mentioned were the ongoing negotiations of the Ministry of the Environment with the EU, which are aimed at transferring a part of the funds from the Environment Operational Programme to the Regional Operational Programme in an effort to trigger greater demand for NGVs and CNG refuelling stations in the most polluted regions. President of Transport Union of the Czech Republic focused on public transport, mentioning company FTL Prostějov: thanks to CNG, this company reports savings of CZK 3.39/km and CZK 3.18/km in urban services and suburban services, respectively, in public transport; he also emphasised that the country’s Regions [self-governing administrative units] are the ones who decide on the deployment of CNG buses in public transport. Representing the General Partner, Mr Jiří Šimek, Vice-Chairman E.ON Energie, a.s. Czech Republic, noted that “E.ON regards CNG as a market opportunity, primarily from the customers’ perspective, because CNG offers a reliable, economical and environmentally-friendly solution”. In respect of CNG he presented the three pillars that E.ON offers, including the projects slated for 2012, refuelling stations and also the Smart Mobility – Connecting CNG and Biogas project.
Over the five years of its existence the NGV conference has become a well-known and sought-after international event. NGV 2012 inspired several international organisations active in NGV to opt for Prague as the venue for holding their important meetings on the occasion of the 5th NGV international conference. Thanks to this, between 20 and 23 February 2012, Prague also hosted the participants in the 6th meeting of IGU WOC 5 (gas use) in the 2009-2012 triennium, and the participants in the meeting of the NGV Global (formerly IANGV) Board of Directors, in addition to the conference delegates and participants.
Written by: Pavel Novák, NGV Manager, Czech Gas Association
Prague, 14 March 2012