The first bioCNG station open to the public in Belgium was inaugurated on Tuesday at the Total fuel pump located at the entrance of the Marché matinal in Brussels.
This is the fourth compressed natural gas (CNG) station in the Brussels region, but the first whose fuel is 100% sustainable and renewable, the company said at a press conference at the headquarters of SIBELGA, which runs the capital’s electricity and gas network.
Belgium has about 18,500 CNG-powered vehicles, of which around 1,000 are in Brussels. They cost 70% less per kilometre to operate than those that use diesel, and 80% less than gas-fuelled ones, according to a study by the Commission for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas (CREG), said Didier Hendrickx of the Gas.be Federation.
From an ecological point of view, the savings are also significant: 20% less carbon dioxide and an 80% reduction in particles.
Owners of CNG-fuelled vehicles now have 130 stations to choose from in Belgium, including four in Brussels and about ten in the suburbs. Total, Dats and Q8 have plans to install more in the short term, said Hendrickx. He feels Brussels will need about 20 by 2030.
CNG, which is “almost carbon neutral” offers “all the advantages: less noise, fine particles, pollutants and expense,” stressed Total Belgium General Director Bernadette Spinoy, who aims to add a new station per month next year. For now, the CNG is not produced in Belgium but imported from the Netherlands through the gas-distribution network.
The station chosen to host Belgium’s first bioCNG station, “at a Brussels point of entry and exit”, is next to the headquarters of SIBELGA, whose director, Marie-Pierre Fauconnier, explained that the utility also wished to make its contribution. “The greening of our fleet of 373 vans represents a cost of just 2%,” she disclosed. “The aim is to reach a target of 50% of green vehicles in 2021 and 100% by 2028.”
The 20 charging stations the company has on its site will soon be joined by two slow-fill CNG stations.