The Niederrheinische Mineraltransportgesellschaft (NMTG) is the first HUETTEMANN GROUP company to test liquefied natural gas as a drive concept. At the end of August, the Scania tractor unit was handed over to the group’s associated company in Duisburg and has since been used for silo transport in the Ruhr region.

“There is no way around sustainable drives,” says Manfred Köhler, Managing Director of HUETTEMANN. “However, since it is not yet clear which concept will prevail in heavy commercial vehicles, we want to gather our own experience.”

According to filling station operator LIQVIS, the use of liquefied natural gas promises ecological and economic advantages: Compared to conventional Euro6 diesel, LNG vehicles are said to emit 20 per cent less CO2, 80 per cent less nitrogen oxides and almost no particulate matter. Noise pollution is also to be halved. At the same time, subsidised gas prices, a toll exemption until the end of 2020 and government subsidies for the purchase make gas trucks attractive. Although the purchase price is about 30 percent higher than that of a conventional diesel truck, the investment is expected to pay for itself after only three to four years thanks to lower operating costs.

“If the drive technology proves itself, it would be a classic win-win situation for the environment and the company,” says Manfred Köhler. “Then we will invest in more vehicles. Provided, of course, that the filling station network is expanded accordingly.”

So far, the supply infrastructure is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the market penetration of liquefied natural gas, as there are hardly any public LNG filling stations in Germany. NMTG currently obtains the fuel from a neighbouring logistics company, which has set up its own network of filling stations for the fleet.

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