The Australian reports that there are efforts to build out infrastructure for gas powered transport along the main Australian east coast trucking route - Germany's BOC plans gas route for trucks (which is a medium term solution for reducing Australia's oil dependency, but is really just a distraction from the central task of electrifying the transport system and powering it with renewable energy sources).
GERMAN gas company BOC has unveiled a $465 million plan for a series of fuel stops for LNG -powered trucks up the east coast from Melbourne to Brisbane.>
The company yesterday said it would spend $265m on expanding its small liquefied natural gas plant at Dandenong, southeast of Melbourne, and installing eight LNG refuelling stations up the east coast. It also struck a deal with APA Group for the sale of gas over 17 years to supply the scheme.
Industry sources estimated the deal was worth about $200m. Missing from the equation, however, is a transport company willing to trial LNG-powered trucks.
BOC South Pacific managing director Colin Isaac said the response from transport companies had been warm, but they were keen to see infrastructure developed before they would commit to using the new LNG highway. He said LNG would produce up to 20 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel and would be more cost efficient.
Prices of domestic natural gas, from which the LNG would be made, are also more stable than the international oil prices that serve as a benchmark for diesel fuel prices.
The LNG highway will be sourced with LNG from the Dandenong plant and another in Chinchilla, Queensland, that was flagged last month. The Chinchilla plant is to be supplied by coal-seam gas from BG Group.
Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, who attended the launch of the project, said LNG was a logical and clean alternative for the heavy transport industry. "LNG is really the first alternative to diesel for the heavy transport sector," Mr Ferguson said.
He also said it was one way Australia could improve its energy security, with the nation's crude oil and petrol deficit expected to grow from about $16 billion now to $30bn in 2015.