EP Rapporteur on alternative fuels calls for sufficient number of LNG bunkering stations across Europe

19 Sep 2013

On 16th September, Carlo Fidanza (EPP, Italy), the rapporteur on the proposal for a directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, which was adopted by the Commission in January 2013, presented his first draft to the parliamentary committee on transport (TRAN). The intention of the Commission is to target the distribution of alternative fuels in Europe by ensuring the build-up of alternative fuel stations across the continent with common standards for their design and use.
In his report, the rapporteur asks for flexibility regarding the timeline as defined by the Commission and advocates the introduction of intermediary objectives so as to substantiate the progress at national level and strengthen the level of ambition of the national policy frameworks once the Directive in question enters into force.
Mr. Fidanza also suggested to increase flexibility as far as targets are concerned, provided this does not defeat the stated purpose of the Directive.
He also underlines the importance of TEN-T funding available through the Connecting Europe Facility but also through the European Investment Bank for the development of alternative fuel infrastructure.
Furthermore Mr. Fidanza proposed that the Horizon 2020 programme also provide support for research and innovation with regard to alternative fuelled vehicles and the related infrastructure
Moreover, according to the draft report, the Directive should not place an additional financial burden on Member States, especially in a period of financial and economic crisis. Member States may implement this Directive in a cost-neutral way as regards their national budgets, in close cooperation with the private sector.
As far as LNG is concerned, the report recognizes that due to its advanced environmental performance, it provides a high-potential solution in meeting the requirements for decreasing the sulphur content in maritime fuels in the SECAs.
Regarding the distribution of LNG bunkering points, the report stresses that the obligation for deploying bunkering infrastructure for LNG needs to take current market realities into account so that there  are no investments in non-used or underused facilities.
Therefore, Mr Fidanza proposes that a sufficient number of maritime ports of the TEN-T Core Network (instead of all ports of the core network as is foreseen in the Commission’s proposal) are equipped with publicly accessible LNG re-fuelling points for maritime and inland waterway transport, within adequate distances, to allow the circulation of LNG vessels Union-wide.
The draft report of MEP Carlo Fidanza can be found here