NGV 2013. The 6th International Conference „NGV 2013“ in Prague

Conference programme is here 

On 19 and 20 February 2013, The Czech Gas Association organized an already the 6th year of international conference on „Perospects for the development and use of CNG and LNG in transport“. 

Mr. Jan Ruml, the Executive Director of the Czech Gas Association and (at the same time) chairperson of this conference, informed in his opening lecture about the involvement od the Czech Gas Association into the National Action Plan („NAP“)-Clean Mobility as announced by the Czech Ministry of Trade and Industry. An expert group consisting of experts from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Regional Development CZ is currently trying to find several ways how to effectively support the CNG utilization in the transport industry (incl. e-mobility development). The principal aim is to increase the number of CNG cars in the car fleets of the particular Ministries, state organizations etc. Mr. Ruml also accented that the Czech Gas Association supports subventions for CNG buses previously provided by the Ministry of Transport (until 2010). 

The Deputy Minister of Environment, Mr. Tomáš J. Podivínský focused his lecture on evaluation of tasks resulting from the so called „Voluntary Agreement“ („Dobrovolná dohoda“, 2006) – he did so from the point of view of the state and the gas companies. On the issue of the construction the CNG filling stations network, Mr. Podivínský mentioned, that it's an all-European problem the European Commision is currently working on. „The particular EU members are obliged to build (at least) a minimal network of CNG filling stations considered as a „direct obligation of the particular EU members“. He also stated, that the Ministry of Environment prepared an extension of the so called „Priority Axis 2 – Operation Programme Living Environment“ to support CNG and alternative means of transport which also includes subventions for purchase of CNG cars and building the filling stations infrastructure. These subventions shall be primarily used for cars owned by the public organizations“. Mr. Podivínský also informed about the „subventions for purchase of CNG buses in selected Czech areas that are most hit by pollutions, i.e. especially in big industrial cities and agglomerations. The Ministry of Environment also support the replacement of old vehicles by new ones as well as the extension of the CNG filling stations network“. „This intention has already been approved by the Monitoring Committee which resulted in adoption of several changes in the Implementation Programme Living Environment still to be approved by the European Commission.“. Mr. Podivínský further stated, that the Ministry of Environment also considers to proclaim „the 1st challenge for this subvention area in the Priority Axis 2, sub-part 1.5 Lowering emission levels by lowering the public transport emissions“. The ministry experts elaborated a study which also includes several evaluation criteria. Support of the alternative transport shall also be included in the new programme-period (2014-2020) whose content is now being discussed in the European Commission. 

Mr. Martin Jahn, president of the Czech Automobil Industry Association“, stated in his lecture, that the automobile manufacturers are currently under a big pressure (especially on the part of the European Commission) to lower the CO2 emissions (incl. possible heavy penalties if the EC requirements shall not be met). „It is not a positive way because the customers intrerests are being missed“. Mr. Jahn also mentioned that the automobile manufacturers are not able to offer products there is no demand for. The expected boom of the e-mobility does not come because the only technical conception we are able to offer does not correspond to the customer needs – the operating range is limited to approx. 150 km / 1 charge and we really do not expect that these params are going to change in the near future. Therefore, the electromobile development will be much slower than originally expected. Mr. Jahn also spoke about the hydrogen utilization in the transport industry where he sees similar or even bigger complications. The safety- and filling-questions have not been solved yet and the hydrogen production is still very expensive. We really do not consider the hydrogene to be a suitable short-term or medium-term solution for CO2 emissions and we do not think either that the biofuels could bring some principal solution too. Mr. Jahn also stated, that just now,  the CNG seems to be the only fuel that can already bring some solution in a short-term period (among the fuels defined by the EU as sustainable). From the point of view of the automobile manufacturers, there are still some options how to lower the CI engine emissions. Nevertheless, the CNG appears to be the most comfortable solution in the area of the alternative fuels. At the conclusion of his lecture, Mr. Jahn also accented, that just now, only CNG can offer a realistic solution how to lower the CO2 emissions, whereas its attractiveness can still increase due to biomethan addition. If a CNG car mileage exceeds 18.000 km a year, than this car is becoming more efficient than a CI engine-car which is something we need to accent when speaking to our customers. „Coming into the future, we can expect an even stricter legislation concerning CO2 emissions - that's why we also expect that the interest in CNG cars shall further increase. Therefore, it is necessary, that all the 3 players active in this field, which means the politicians, energy companies and the automobile manufacturers, have to cooperate closely“ – these were the closing words of Mr. Jahn's lecture.   

Another essential part of the conference programme was „LNG“ whose importance in the European transport area increases continually. The European programme „Blue Corridors“ (just prepared) shows evidence that the LNG theme is now coming into the forefront. The principal aim of the „Blue Corridors“-programme is to ensure a sufficient number of the LNG stations situated at the main heavy transport road routes at a max. distance 400 km each other. Mr. Antonio Tricas Aizipún (General Directory for Mobility and Transport at the EC) informed in his lecture „Package of measures to support the clean energy in the transport industry“ about the basic strategic EU documents as well as the latest EC initiative to support the clean mobility. As traditionally at this conference, we could also hear a lot of interesting lectures by talkers from the Central and Eastern Europe (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Russia) who informed about the latest developments in the field of the CNG/LNG-utilization in the transport industry in their respective countries.  

The 6th international conference „NGV 2013“ in Prague was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic and Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic. The General Partner of the conference was the company „RWE“, the Main Partners were the companies Bonett Gas Investment, a.s. and Pražská plynárenská, a.s. and the partners were the companies E.ON Energie, a.s. and VEMEX, s.r.o.

In total, 140 participants from 15 countries took part in this conference. In total, 12 companies from Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic took part in the accompanying exhibition of NGV technics and technologies. The participation of foreign countries was similar as in the previous conference years (37%). A special part of the conference programme was prepared in a close co-operation with the NGVA Europe association whose representatives also had a speech in the Panel Discussion. At this conference, there were (in total) 24 lectures in 4 sessions.

The Czech Gas Association would like to thank all the partners, media partners, exhibitors who took part in the accompanying exhibition, as well as all the others who helped to prepare this international event. 

Pavel Novák, Czech Gas Association
March 2013       

Český plynárenský svaz