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Bio-LNG makes carbon-neutrality a reality for EU transport, says new report

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Bio-LNG makes carbon-neutrality a reality for EU transport, according to a joint paper published today.

The European Biogas Association (EBA), Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), the Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association and SEA-LNG published a joint paper which demonstrates the concrete benefits of using bio-LNG to decarbonise hard-to-abate transport sectors through provision of the latest data.

Ahead of the Smart Sustainable Mobility Strategy, due to be published by the European Commission in December, the paper calls on the European Institutions to recognise the potential for bio-LNG to meet greenhouse gas targets, and continue to acknowledge the benefits available today of LNG and bio-LNG in maritime and road transport.

The joint paper highlights the true potential for bio-LNG to decarbonise heavy-duty transport and shipping in a fast, cost-effective way. It illustrates how bio-LNG can help the EU reach its 2030 climate targets and become climate-neutral by 2050.

Since the bio-LNG production process captures carbon, the bio-LNG value chain generates negative carbon emissions. So, by running EU trucks on 100% bio-LNG, it is possible to remove CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.

Harmen Dekker, director of the EBA, said: “Bio-LNG is available today and scalable for tomorrow. It is a sustainable and cost-competitive carbon-neutral fuel if we take into account all positive externalities of the bio-LNG value chain.

“To ensure maximum production potential and benefit for all EU consumers, the new revision of the EU Renewable Energy Directive should integrate more feedstocks such as residues which cannot be used for other purposes and secondary crops.

“The EU must also create a single market for biomethane and bio-LNG by facilitating trading of volumes and certificates across EU borders, free of technological or political barriers.”

EU production of bio-LNG is set to increase tenfold by 2030, according to the organisations behind the study. LNG heavy-duty transport in the EU is expected to reach 280,000 units in the same period. Using a 40% bio-LNG mix with LNG will help reduce CO2 emissions from those trucks by 55%. This can be achieved using only 10% (40 terawatt-hours [TWh]) of Europe’s total bio-LNG production (380 TWh).

In the shipping sector, 50% of large container vessel orders today are LNG-fuelled or ready for conversion to LNG. A 20% mix of bio-LNG in maritime transport would reduce CO2 emissions by up to 34%.

Bio-LNG can be transported using existing LNG infrastructure with no further technological developments or additional costs. Today, the EU has 53 ports where LNG bunkering is available and over 330 filling LNG stations. This will increase ‘exponentially’ in the coming years, say the firms. In the case of LNG stations, it will be six times bigger, reaching 2,000 LNG stations by 2030. The use of current infrastructure also boosts cross-border trade of bio-LNG in Europe.

Roxana Caliminte, deputy secretary-general of GIE, commented: “The infrastructure we use today for LNG can be used tomorrow for bio-LNG with little or no modifications.

“There are no stranded assets – only scale-up effects for climate-neutral bio-LNG. If we want to be successful in cleaning up transport, it will be crucial that the EU recognises the vital role of LNG infrastructure in the Smart Sustainable Mobility Strategy.”