The development of compressed natural gas filling stations for servicing trucks, vans and buses has been announced. The network will be supplied and its establishment will be supervised by the authorities.
The use of compressed natural gas is increasingly being adopted for heavier modes of transport, and comes with green credentials - namely low carbon emissions - and cheaper running costs compared to traditional fossil fuels such as diesel.
Their research will be fed back to gas operators around the world and will help in the development of similar projects across the globe. The project, which supports the development of green energy, has received millions in co-funding from all authorities.
Gas Networks Companies have the responsibility to develop, maintain and operate natural gas transportation and distribution networks.
NUIG president Dr. Jim Browne said their research would form the basis for the first use of an alternative, sustainable transportation fuel. "Within our Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy Research, in particular, we have built a track record in sustainability research and innovation."
He said this included decades of scientific and engineering expertise in renewable gas. "We expect NUIG to play a key role in distilling and disseminating the results and impacts of the Project, not only for the benefit, but also to provide learnings to other states."
The provision of the initial fast-fill compressed natural gas fueling stations will mark the first significant deployment of compressed natural gas fueling infrastructure, according to the NUIG research. They will be incorporated around existing fueling stations. "This is the most logical way forward."
The gas grid companies said that "the development of a natural gas transportation network will significantly decarbonize the commercial fleet" - transportation accounts for more than a third of all energy used.
In addition, renewable gas injection facilities will be built, allowing the introduction of biomethane, a sustainable indigenous energy source, into the natural gas grid. It will be generated from agricultural and food waste using anaerobic digestion technology.
Mr. O'Sullivan said that compressed natural gas, and the soon to be introduced renewable gas (biomethane), will play an important role in making transportation cleaner.
"GNI is determined to play an important role in facilitating the development of this new, cleaner transportation network. It is particularly important that the advances we are making through this project, and through the work of NUIG, will play a role in changing the transportation landscape around the world."