Natural gas and biomethane take centre stage in Brussels with FCA and CNH Industrial

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BRUSSELS, 28 May, 2015  —— Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and CNH Industrial took part in the “(Bio)Methane, The Road to Sustainable Mobility” conference, held in Brussels – at the Bibliothèque Solvay – in partnership with the European natural gas associations for transportation (NGVA Europe – Natural Gas Vehicles Association) and biogas (EBA – European Biogas Association).

The event was a great opportunity to revisit the virtuous circle of biomethane and its benefits, with reference to European policies for sustainable mobility. It also presented an important occasion for the principal representatives of European institutions and industry to come together.

A number of experts and sector stakeholders took part in the conference, including: Stefan Back, from the European Economic and Social Committee; Nikolaus von Peter, Member of Cabinet of Transport Commissioner Violeta BULC; Matthias Maedge, NGVA Europe, Deputy Secretary General & Director EU Affairs; Jan Stambasky, European Biogas Association (EBA), President; Dietrich Klein, Copa (European Farmers) – Cogeca (European Agri Cooperatives), Chairman of the Working Group on Bioenergy; Stefano Bozzetto, representing the Italian Biogas Consortium in Europe and a Member of the EBA Board; Stephane Gigou, Head of Product Portfolio Planning for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at FCA; Michele Ziosi, head of Institutional Relationships for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at CNH Industrial; Mathieu Lefebvre, Biogas Business Developer at Air Liquide; and Giovanni La Via, President of the European Parliamentary Commission on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

Biomethane is a renewable fuel obtained from the process of upgrading biogas. It can be used in existing distribution networks without additional costs and is suitable for natural gas-powered vehicles that can run on biofuels. Implementation procedures are expected to take place soon in Italy following approval in December of 2013. Recent measures taken by the European Union have also recognised it as an advanced biofuel, given its strategic value in transport and for its contribution with respect to Directive 2009/28/EC on Renewable Sources.

According to the Italian Biogas Consortium, the proposed model is that of ‘Biomethane done right’. This model foresees the development of natural gas in the context of agricultural enterprise through the use of by-products, waste from livestock and crop integration. As per law, Italy has already defined objectives for the production of sustainable biofuels and has already established a quota of 2 per cent by 2020.

The occasion in Brussels offered FCA and CNH Industrial the chance to demonstrate their continued commitment to promoting biomethane and natural gas as an alternative means of achieving increasingly sustainable mobility.

“We as institutions, industry and civil society must continue to work together to meet the increasingly ambitious goals related to reducing CO2  emissions. Biomethane is a product that needs to be invested in and innovated, because it can make an important contribution to enhancing the agricultural sector as well as mobility that is truly sustainable,” remarked Giovanni La Via, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, at the conference.

Michele Ziosi (Head of Institutional Relations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at CNH Industrial): “Biomethane is a strategically valuable fuel, ideal for future agricultural applications and already usable on the road with natural gas-powered vehicles. It represents a key component in a truly revolutionary moment for the transport sector, with real and immediate environmental, economic and industrial benefits. Furthermore, it is an excellent opportunity to achieve real sustainability.”

Stephane Gigou (Head of Product Portfolio Planning for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at FCA): “Natural gas and biomethane are key elements in FCA’s strategy for sustainable mobility. As a European leader for more than 15 years in this sector, FCA offers a wide range of natural gas-powered vehicles which have already been adapted to run on natural gas. To enable this technology to develop and fulfil its potential, the expansion of the distribution network remains one of the key factors at this time.”

[Source : Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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