Held 16-18 October in Tallinn (Estonia), the TEN-T Days 2013 attracted around 1,200 participants to the various venues in the Estonian capital. The event, which saw the participation of 50 TEN-T exhibitors coordinated by the TEN-T EA, carried the title of “On the road to the new TEN-T” and aimed at presenting to stakeholders the nine new pan-European Corridors as well as engaging in debates about all the aspects related to transport and projects. European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas officially opened the conference on 17 October and participated in a closed ministerial session with transport ministers especially convened at the event.
NGVA Europe together with its Board member Gasrec (UK) presented various natural gas vehicles (NGVs) outside the venues in the Estonian capital. Visiting stakeholders had the chance to inspect gas-powered vehicles such as Opel Combo, Fiat Doblo and Iveco Daily CNG. In order to emphasise the important role liquefied natural gas (LNG) will play in Europe’s road transport, NGVA Europe Board member Iveco showcased the LNG version of its flagship truck model, the Iveco Stralis (330 hp). For this purpose NGVA Europe member Rolande LNG also showcased one of its mobile LNG filling stations on-site.
In addition, The Natural & bio Gas association seized the opportunity to promote the LNG Blue Corridors project with a stand alongside its member Gasrec at the exhibition floor. UK-based producer of liquid biomethane Gasrec had afore been granted funding for its LNG road transport project as part of the TEN-T 2012 call. The project will test the use of Bio-LNG in a live trial with HGV operators using a pilot network of open access storage and refuelling terminals serving priority axes in the UK. The main outcome of the study will be a business model and a roadmap for deployment of bio-LNG across the TEN-T network throughout Europe.
During the two-day event a wealth of speakers presented key TEN-T issues like innovation and new technologies, Inland waterway potential on the network, investment in Cohesion countries and much more. Helmut Morsi (Deputy Head of Unit “TEN”, TENtec & Innovation) in his speech summed up the results achieved by the TEN-T initiative and also gave an outlook of future opportunities. “We are pleased that the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is making significant infrastructure support available through TEN-T”, he explained. TEN-T funding is particularly interesting for innovation projects aiming at decarbonisation through Natural Gas infrastructure and refuelling for raod and maritime.
Carlo Fidanza, MEP & Rapporteur of the “Alternative Fuels Package” (AFP), highlighted the relation between the AFP and TEN-T whilst stressing the importance to invest on alternative fuels in order to contribute to the decarbonisation of transport as outlined in the Europe 2020 strategy. The plan to develop the European internal market for Natural Gas Vehicles and achieve a harmonised infrastructure for CNG and LNG is currently debated intensively in European Parliament and Council of Member States and this is a fundamentally important political initiative.
Moreover, Bernadette Frederick, Head of Unit “Research & Innovation Transport Systems” (DG MOVE), explained to audiences how Horizon 2020 (RTD) will complement the market related support via TEN-T also on the research related side. Overall, the statements made indicate strong political support along the main three pillars determining the success for CNG und LNG in transport – Clean Power for Transport, TEN-T and Horizon 2020. Matthias Maedge, Head of NGVA Europe Brussels Office, in his statement pointed out the highly innovative features when using Natural Gas as a fuel in an inter-modal approach, which is also a key alternative to break Europe’s over dependency on oil in transport whilst helping to significantly reduce GHG emissions and improve air quality.
Source: NGVA Europe, October 31, 2013