Environmentally friendly fuels are going to make the transport sector more sustainable. This will mean replacing or adapting petrol stations, trucks and container ships and an enormous logistical transition. Professor Iris Vis of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Groningen is heading a new research project that will develop sustainable distribution networks for new fuels. Top logistics institute Dinalog has awarded a huge grant, with a total of € 1.25 million available for the project.
The transport sector is on the eve of a transition to new fuels, which will result in a smaller environmental impact for road or sea transport. The University of Groningen is at the heart of this transition with its Design of LNG Networks project (LNG: liquefied natural gas), which is designing the logistical aspects of this revolution.
Within the project, professors Iris Vis and Kees Jan Roodbergen and their team are examining the distribution of LNG and bioLNG as up-and-coming fuels to help the sector comply with new national and European laws on emission reduction.
Vis: ‘Using LNG as a fuel requires a new network of distribution points, such as bunker terminals for ships and petrol stations for heavy freight traffic. European and national policy have created the framework within which this network must be designed.’ The researchers will provide both infrastructure builders as well as potential users with input that will support them when making both investment and infrastructure decisions and economic and market analyses.
‘We will also be developing techniques to make the actual transfer and storage of the new fuels as well as the availability to end users as efficient as possible’, adds Vis. ‘The aim is thus to make the knowledge available to the people behind the range and use of LNG and finally to the Dutch logistics sector in order to place these businesses in the vanguard of LNG networks in Europe.’
The project is led by the University of Groningen. Other participants include the TU Eindhoven, Gasunie, Vopak, Groningen Seaports, Stichting Energy Valley, Jan de Rijk Logistics, Feederlines, IMS, GDF Suez, Oliehandel Klaas de Boer, Ecos Energy B.V. and the Ubbo Emmius Fund.
The project is supported by the National LNG Platform. The total budget for the project is € 1.25 million. The project is at the interface between national top sectors in logistics and energy (specifically gas) and emphatically dovetails with the Energy and Sustainability research themes supported by the University of Groningen.
For further information: Prof. Iris F.A. Vis, tel. 050-363 7491 (secretariat).
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