Klaipeda Logistics Company Vlantana, which has so far experimented with a compressed natural gas-powered towing vehicle, is launching tests on a liquid natural gas (LNG) powered truck.

The Lithuanian carrier, which manages a fleet of more than 1,500 tow trucks, is launching a test on a Iveco Stralis 460NP powered by liquified natural gas (LNG). This truck has already run on the route between Germany and the Netherlands.

According to Mr Algimantas Šniepis, the Executive Director of Operations at Vlantana, the drivers, who are testing the eco-trucks, are not only challenged by real-world truck testing in Europe, but also the task of economic driving: the logistics company wants to make sure whether the gas service station infrastructure is adequate for freight routes, whether the truck Iveco would help to reduce CO2 emissions to the environment, and compare the performance indicators of the gas-powered truck unit with the indicators of the diesel-powered trucks. 

Another important motive that inspired Vlantana to test gas-powered trucks is ecology.

“We send an important message to our customers - their goods are transported in an environmentally friendly way, with less pollution. With the introduction of green energy requirements in the European Union, transport vehicles will have to reduce their CO2 emissions by 40% from 2030. At present, we reduce CO2 pollution by up to 25% using natural liquefied gas,” says Mr A. Šniepis.

To date, two companies have acquired such trucks in Lithuania: Girteka Logistics, one of the largest carriers in Europe, and Gruber Logistics, the company of Italian capital. The both carriers have also opted for LNG-powered Iveco Stralis 460NP trucks, which operate in Western Europe in line with LNG fuel station infrastructure.

So far, Vlantana has been experimenting with an CNG-powered Scania tractor unit, but this type of fuel allows to travel a relatively short distance of up to 500 km. LNG allows this distance to be increased up to 1,600 km, but despite Lithuania having a huge storage of these fuels, there are not any LNG fuel stations open for transport in the country.

The EU is now implementing the so-called Blue Corridor project, which provides for LNG filling stations to be installed at least every 400 km for towing vehicles.

In August, the first LNG refuelling station in the Baltic States was opened on the outskirts of Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia.

The company SG Dujos is planning to build the first LNG fuel station on Via Baltica.