AGL Energy Limited (AGL), based in Sydney, plans to roll out Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling stations across the east coast, accelerating involvement in the alternative fuel market for transport vehicles in Australia.
AGL’s Managing Director Michael Fraser explains that Australia is “the sixth largest country by landmass, Australia’s road transport sector is central to our economy, getting food from farms to homes and connecting businesses to markets. The transport sector is also the second most energy intensive industry in Australia. A rising proportion of our road transport sector is also fuelled by foreign crude and fuel imports, increasing from 60 percent in 2000 to over 90 percent today. Diversifying our fuel mix and building an alternative fuels industry locally is part of the solution to developing a more resilient economy.”
The new public and on-site refuelling stations, which are suited for dedicated commercial trucks and vehicles, are planned to be located in key geographical areas, enabling fleets to refuel without altering their routes. AGL is scheduled to develop the national CNG public refuelling infrastructure, starting in Melbourne this year.
CNG is on the rise globally with approximately 142,000 Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) already on the road in the United States and more than 17 million NGVs operational around the world, according to NGV Global. By the end of this decade, it is forecast that 30 percent of heavy trucks in the US will shift to natural gas (both CNG and LNG) as a transport fuel.
In Australia, foreseeable growth in CNG refuelling infrastructure is contributing to an increase in investment from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) 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.