AGL unveils ‘next generation’ transport fuel plans

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AGL reveals plans to roll out network of ‘next generation’ Compressed Natural Gas refuelling stations across Australian east coast.

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AGL has signalled its intent to extend into Australia’s ‘next generation’ alternative transport fuel market, with the announcement of plans to roll out a network of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations across the nation’s east coast.

Compressed natural gas – also know as biogas when it is collected from landfills or wastewater plants – is mostly methane stored at high pressure. It can be used in place of petrol, diesel fuel and LPG, its main advantages being that it produces fewer emissions and is safer in the event of a spill.

In the US, there are 120,000 Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) already on the road, with forecasts predicting that 30 per cent of heavy trucks in America will shift to natural gas (both CNG and LNG) by the end of the decade.

AGL’s CNG vision for Australia was unveiled at the International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show in Melbourne on Thursday, with the energy company’s managing director Michael Fraser pledging to create a viable and competitive fuel offering for the transport industry – the nation’s second most energy intensive.

“A rising proportion of our road transport sector is … fuelled by foreign crude and fuel imports, increasing from 60 percent in 2000 to over 90 percent today,” Fraser said.

“Diversifying our fuel mix and building an alternative fuels industry locally, is part of the solution to developing a more resilient economy. …It is a step which we hope will not only help Australian businesses become more competitive and productive, but also contribute to the nation’s longer term energy security.”

AGL plans to establish its network of “next generation” AGL Smart CNG refuelling stations as a “long-term, viable and widely available fuel for commercial customers.” They will be located in “key geographical areas” – starting with Melbourne, later this year – so that fleets can refuel without having to alter their routes.

Also speaking at the International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show in Melbourne on Thursday, AGL’s general manager of power development, Scott Thomas, said foreseeable national growth in CNG refuelling infrastructure was contributing to an increase in investment in CNG-compatible vehicles.

“Natural gas transport products provide local transport operators with improved operational benefits, lower operating costs, and a proven and low emission fuel supply,” Thomas said.

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5 Comments
  1. sean 5 years ago

    Sounds like a great way to increase the markets for Coal Seam Gas.

  2. Askgerbil Now 5 years ago

    Providing an LNG refueling network for heavy vehicles was planned as a result of energy security consultation conducted by the previous Federal Government. See for example:
    “Shell to build LNG fuel network
    Royal Dutch Shell is planning to develop a string of liquefied natural
    gas (LNG) refuelling stations along the Hume Highway between Melbourne
    and Sydney”
    published one year ago on 14 March 2013 by Business Spectator here http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/3/14/shell-build-lng-fuel-network

  3. JohnRD 5 years ago

    I would be more impressed if they were talking about renewable low impact fuels instead of a fossil fuel network. (See: http://reneweconomy.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=37a8faee990290c21229d89ff&id=cf12c4f69d&e=c74399314b)

  4. Downstream Knag 5 years ago

    If this is with unconventional gas rather than bio fuels I wonder how many communities, river and aquifer systems they plan on destroying, not to mention toxic salt distribution over farmlands and into the food system … Not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes with half a brain AGL we are not all fossil fuel fossil fools!

  5. Miles Harding 5 years ago

    Of course, there are already lots of CNG buses on the road.

    We should see this sort of transition as vital in the more immediate near-term problem of Australia’s total exposure to imported fuels, but it is not a panacea.

    Lobby groups such as this one are famous for ignoring the issues surrounding their focus. There is a tendency to market these as a one-stop solution: do this and all your problems are over, except that they are only beginning…

    Biogas is the latest flavor of greenwash for this industry. The vast amount of gas needed really means coal seam gas with a bit of input from rotting garbage etc.

    I would be a lot more confident if AGL wasn’t the promoter and is this was part of an overall strategy to dramatically curtail vehicle mileage.

    It would make a lot more sense to do the following:
    1) Electrify urban transport and make far more use of bikes and buses.
    2) Localise as much production and consumption as possible.
    3) Move as much freight to more efficient rail as possible**.
    4) Move the few remaining trucks to CNG, reducing the diesel fuel burn.

    And… we wouldn’t need all those Roman era roads that our illustrious fearless leader wants to build with state assets.

    ** Rail is approximately 10 times as efficient as trucking

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