With the arrival of natural gas in Madrid at the end of the eighties came the fuel that has done the most in all this time to improve the quality of the air we breathe and for sure it will continue to do so for many years to come.
What qualities can natural gas be proud of to have carried out this work?
According to data from the GASNAM Association, it reduces to almost ZERO the emission of the reference pollutants for air quality that affect our health, reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 85%, and eliminates 96% of the solid particles P.M. emissions. In addition, it contributes to mitigating the greenhouse effect by completely eliminating sulphur (SO2) emissions and reducing (CO) and (CO2) emissions by up to 25%. On the other hand, natural gas engines produce up to 50% less noise and vibration emissions than diesel vehicles.
Their first and great contribution was the great expansion to all districts of Madrid so that they could have natural gas to heat the homes, giving welfare to the existing houses that until then had what was called the “black heat” (electric radiators and bottles of butane and propane that always ran out when you needed them most) and providing almost all new houses with safe and efficient heaters.
As for the other major pollutant, transport, natural gas has been helping for many years, starting with public transport and now being essential for the use of most private vehicles.
In February 1993, Gas Natural, IVECO-PEGASO, and the Regional Transport Consortium signed an agreement to develop a prototype of Ecobus designed specifically for the Municipal Transport Company (EMT) of Madrid. There are 2050 EMT vehicles, of which 62.63% run on natural gas, and it plans to acquire 940 more buses powered by natural gas and 78 by electricity (https://www.emtmadrid.es/Empresa/Somos/NuestraFlota).
With regards to the garbage collection trucks, all of them run on natural gas, taking advantage of the nights because of the low noise they make. NIPSA began its activity with Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) in 2004 building and maintaining these facilities for the loading of these trucks.
In the taxi sector, natural gas had an important role in the transformations of the Toyota Prius, giving these cars deposits of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and, at present, also with the new models of Seat León homologated for taxis, where the acceptance of this sector has been total, finishing with all the stocks of vehicles.
In the sector of merchandise (vans), more and more the big companies like Seur, Amazon, bet for natural gas.
The Volkswagen group has also opted for CNG with models in Seat, Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda. Fiat is also betting on CNG models. All these cars also have the advantage that, if the gas runs out, they automatically drive with gasoline, which means that they are the vehicles with the most autonomy in the market.
And after all this, what more can they offer?
Well, yes, they are those who save more money, 30% more than diesel and 50% more than gasoline. With 20 € you can do 275 kilometres with petrol, 375 kilometres with diesel and 555 kilometres with CNG. In addition, all vehicles that use natural gas have the ECO label of the Directorate General of Traffic. The new air quality and climate change plan that is in place in Madrid makes this the option with the most advantages since, in any scenario of restrictions, you can use it and you can also go away in peace on weekends or holidays knowing that it will never leave you in the ditch. Moreover, they also enjoy a 50% reduction when parking and a 75% reduction in the IVTM.
Where can you refuel?
There are currently 66 natural gas stations operating in Spain and 11 in Portugal. If you plan well your trips, you can travel around the peninsula consuming 80% natural gas. Do the math and you’ll be surprised with the savings.
The GASNAM website contains a map that positions all service stations, which links to Google Maps, and in this way you can schedule your trips using only natural gas as fuel.
Ingeniería, Estudios y Proyectos NIP, S.A. has accompanied the implementation of NGV in Spain since its inception more than 15 years ago, since 2004, offering a quality service “turnkey” in each project (Engineering, Construction and Maintenance).
It has made compression stations for several fleets of garbage collection trucks, urban buses, and particulars in several cities and municipalities of Spain, standing out for its number and size those made in Madrid both for use of fleets of buses and trucks and private use, in which the City Council has ceded the land for a space of time, to promote the use of NGV.
In its Strategic Plan for the next three years, NIPSA focuses on maintaining and continuing to grow in the mobility sector and especially in NGV, both in LNG plants and CNG.
Ingeniería Estudios y Proyectos NIP, S.A., feels involved in improving air quality in Madrid, has contributed and will continue its effort to make this cleaner and healthier every day.