Italian gas grid operator Snam has launched a 33 million euro tender to convert its car fleet to natural gas as a sign of dedication to develop and increase gas fuelling stations in the country.
This move happens as utilities throughout Europe compete to embrace the fast-growing business of rolling out charging stations to fulfil carmaker agreements to move fleets to electric drives.
Snam acknowledged in a tender of setting a deadline of February 16, 2018 for bids to commence from European companies of converting its 1,500 vehicle fleet to natural gas. The supply contracts will be for three years.
Being Europe’s major pipeline gas operator, Snam has agreed to spend 150 million euros to build 300 new compressed natural gas (CNG) stations which adds up to the Italy’s existing 1,100 points.
Italy is the market leader in Europe for the manufacture and sales of natural gas cars, with motorists consuming more than 1 billion cubic meters in 2015 and approximately 1 million vehicles in circulation.
Speaking to Reuters, Snam CEO Marco Alvera stated that by adding more stations the market could expand to 2-3 million vehicles and would be able to complement electric cars. “I think the future will be natural gas and electricity,” he added.
Snam is committed to play a key role in helping develop new gas infrastructure and technology for Italy’s transport sector including the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to drive ships.
It has already signed deals with oil major Eni and leading petrol pump network API as well as carmaker Fiat Chrysler. These deals will compliment and aid with achieving the overall aim of making natural gas a primary fuel.
Source: Thomson Reuters