Romania gets first CNG station
Everything was planned in detail. Antares Group, the company behind the initiative, first bought a strategically located piece of land in the city, near the E81 international route, but also close to a methane pipeline. Then the station was erected on the property and vehicles were purchased to make use of the newly developed distribution point. This means the station will be used from day one, without having to wait for customers, but of course Antares hopes other transport operators will soon be attracted to switch from conventional fuels to CNG.
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.
Dumitru Becsenescu, President of Antares Group
The Râmnicu Vâlcea facility is just the beginning, the first step towards creating a national network of CNG retail outlets. Antares Group plans 14 stations overall, which is believed to be enough to make it possible for Romanian drivers to travel around the country and across Europe using compressed methane. This way Romania wants to catch up with other EU countries, all of which already have CNG station networks.
However, the initiative isn't an entirely bottom-up one – EU legislation requires all member states to have at least one CNG station every 150 km of major routes. The first station doesn't get Romania much closer to achieving that goal, but Rome wasn't built in a day either, was it? As for the fleet of buses purchased by Antares, they're based on Iveco Daily Natural Power chassis and will run a route of approx. 200 km from Calimanesti via Râmnicu Vâlcea to Bucharest. The company plans to convert a further 40 existing diesel vehicles to dual-fuel (diesel/CNG) operation.
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