First CNG Station For Romania
Antares Group, a Romanian multi-faceted company based in the city of Râmnicu Vâlcea, has opened the first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling station in Romania. The total investment was EUR 3.2 million (USD 3.51m), a sum that includes the purchase of a property strategically located in the city near the E81 European route and close to a natural gas pipeline, the purchase of 20 CNG-powered buses and the construction of the CNG filling station itself.
Antares believes natural gas is a fuel of the future that brings efficiency in fuel economy. “I am convinced that in the near future, in Romania, we will develop CNG filling stations networks. This way, the number of vehicles that are using this fuel will significantly increase,” said Dumitru Becsenescu, President of Antares Group. He further commented that the fuel will be especially attractive for commercial carriers because it is able to deliver a considerable saving of fuel costs.
As part of the development strategy, Antares Group intends in the future to continue to invest in this area, to create a national network of 14 CNG stations, that will take in the nation’s capital city of Bucharest. The network will allow users to travel anywhere in the country and in Europe, especially since all EU countries already have CNG station networks.
Romania was, so far, the only European Union country that did not have NGV filling stations, although there is a European directive which says that by 2020, all Member States must have such stations in their national roads network at every 150 km distance. “The lack of appetite for investment in this area was justified by three factors: first, the absence of a market; secondly, high investment costs, knowing that a station costs about EUR 500,000; and, not the least, because of an indefinite legislation in this area until recently”, said Dumitru Becsenescu.
Antares Group has seized this opportunity due to the desire to invest, to existing experience in a similar field (LPG), and because the Group operates its own transport company.
Antares explains CNG vehicles pollute up to 30 % less and are 50-70 % quieter than diesel-engine cars. A car powered by compressed natural gas has a range of up to 500 km and is on average 50% more economical.
The new 7.8 metre CNG buses, with Iveco chassis and bodywork from Czech, now travel the approximately 200 km route from Calimanesti via Ramnicu Valcea to Bucharest. According to a Tranzit news item, Antares is also planning to convert about 40 diesel buses to dual-fuel (CNG/diesel).
(Source: Antares Group Inc.)