Rolande opens new generation of CNG/LNG filling stations in Ulm

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Ulm is the first of five new locations in 2020

Rolande, a pioneer and market leader in building infrastructures for liquefied natural gas and bio-LNG for trucks in the Netherlands is now also entering the German market. For this, the company today opened its first own CNG/LNG filling station at the Ulm location.

Tilburg (NL) / Ulm, 8 July 2020. Before the end of this year, further new LNG locations with partners in Dortmund, Duisburg, Grasdorf, Lübeck and Ziesar will follow. A further expansion of the network is planned in Germany for 2021. Rolande will operate exclusively public filling stations that can be used by any customer. Each of these filling stations, at this time already, is equipped for a later use of bio-LNG. This way, heavy long-distance haulage in all of Germany will be able to profit from the cost and sustainability advantages of liquid natural gas.

Iconic architecture – ideal for CNG/LNG trucks
The filling station with a futuristic look thanks to its waved roofs and the high and slender LNG tank was opened today by Jolon van der Schuit, Rolande CEO, Director of Sales and Marketing of Iveco Magirus AG, Christian Sulser, and the Lord Mayor of the City of Ulm, Gunter Czisch.

The characteristic white and green Rolande design not only adds a new optical touch, but it is also functionally adjusted optically to the requirements of LNG trucks.

Pioneering model of success

The plant is a traditional public 24/7 self-serve petrol station with two LNG dispensers and two CNG dispensers with capacities guaranteeing swift fuelling without long waiting periods. With a daily capacity for up to 150 vehicles and large driveways, the filling station has the ideal dimensions for heavy-load trucks. It not only contributes with this to gradually further establish LNG as an environmentally friendlier fuel, but in light of the currently existing LNG network of merely 21 operating public filling stations (information from Deutschen Energie Agentur GmbH, DENA), Rolande, with its six locations, has made an important contribution to the organisation of a network in Germany. Furthermore, Rolande supports transport companies that want to switch to high-caloric CNG (CNG+), LNG or Bio-LNG and is also already working on building an infrastructure for the production and use of Bio-LNG for trucks.

Sustainable and economical

“Liquid natural gas must be available for all trucks – also in Germany,” says Jolon van der Schuit, CEO of the LNG pioneer Rolande. “We believe that LNG not only makes transport more environmentally friendly but, at the same time, also more profitable. And everyone should get something out of that. This is why we want to supply all customers in Germany with the cleanest and most efficient deployable fuel of this time: LNG! We are not only building filling stations for this but are also organising the entire sales and marketing chain from import to nationwide full-area coverage with the offer. In doing so, we will continuously develop new concepts for a future nationwide offer in Germany and other European countries. We also provide our entire competence of many years to our customers. This applies to both the sustainable handling of resources as well as the economically optimal use of LNG.”

EU sponsorship

The filling station in Ulm is part of the Connect2LNG project that is financed by the CEF programme of the European Commission. The aim of the Connect2LNG project is the development of a European LNG fuelling network by commissioning five stations in Germany and France. “It is clear that the future of transport is the gradual and continuous de-carbonisation of the sector, and both the European Commission with its Green Deal as well as INEA with the projects overseen by it have contributed to reaching the ambitious goal of an emission-free transport sector,” explained Dirk Beckers, Director of INEA. “Today’s opening of this LNG filling station in Germany is a significant contribution to building a low-emission European transport network along the Rhine-Danube corridor. The Connect2LNG project plays an important role in the fight against climate change and I am happy that the European Union can support it financially within the scope of the Connecting Europe Facility.”

“We have evaluated various engine alternatives including e-mobility and have come to the decision that the currently CNG-driven commercial vehicles are best suited for our specific requirements,” said Sven Sauerwein, Head of the Central Department of Logistics Services, Transgourmet Deutschland GmbH & Co. OHG. “We have been using 15 CNG-driven trucks for two years and have not had a breakdown reported to date. Our drivers are also completely enthusiastic about the quiet running and low noise emissions of the CNG engines. In summary, based on the experience from the past two years, it can be said that we are planning for the future to include further CNG trucks in our fleet to thereby get one step closer to our goal of being the most sustainable enterprise in our industry in Germany. We are welcoming Rolande’s step to further expand the CNG/LNG filling station network in Germany to continue to push ahead the use of natural gas in the transport industry.”

Fuelling of the IVECO S-WAY NP

With an IVECO S-WAY NP or an IVECO Stralis NP, the fuelling process at this new filling station does not take longer than filling up a diesel truck. The only difference:

When fuelling, the drivers always have to wear their personal protective equipment, PPE for short. After the fuelling process, the IVECO S-WAY NP has a possible reach of up to 1,600 kilometres. Therefore, nothing is in the way of international long-distance haulage. Besides low consumption and low emissions, the IVECO S-WAY NP also scores points for its unproblematic single-product LNG-fuelling and the benefits of a gas engine when it comes to noise. IVECO has sold more than 7,000 LNG vehicles so far Europe-wide.

“The fact that not only one of the most modern but also the first CNG/LNG filling station of Rolande B.V. in Germany is located here in Ulm makes us particularly happy. This is bearing in mind that the very first LNG filling station in Germany was located just 100 metres away until the opening today. It was a mobile facility of the research and development department, first for test and then for field test vehicles for supplying several millions of trial kilometres,” says Christan Sulser, Director of Sale and Marketing at Iveco Magirus AG. “With the new gas station outside of the gates of the Iveco factory in Ulm, we not only prove our pioneering role when it comes to CNG/LNG but we also prove our practiced responsibility on the way to emission-free freight haulage.”

Public LNG subsidies in Germany

The use of CNG and LNG is state subsidised in Germany. Trucks that run on compressed or liquefied natural gas are exempted from the German road toll until 31 December 2023. The operators thereby save up to 18.7 cents in road tolls on each driven kilometre. Moreover, the operators profit from state subsidies for purchases of new vehicles until the end of 2020. The state subsidy amounts up to EUR 12,000 for an LNG truck and up to EUR 8,000 for a CNG truck. LNG trucks are not only economically attractive but also sustainable. Compared to a diesel truck, the NOx and particle emissions are significantly lower. Up to 95 percent of CO2 can be saved when using biogas.

“I have treated the subject of alternative drives for a few years. By now, we have switched 10% of our fleet to liquefied gas. With a mileage of 120,000 km per vehicle, this switch reduces the CO2 emission by several millions of kilograms in five years,” explains Bernhard Reichert, Managing Shareholder of BTK Befrachtungs- und Transportkontor GmbH. “We have provided proof through our LNG fleet that the vehicles can be deployed and used analogously to diesel trucks. We would like to increase the portion of LNG vehicles but the infrastructure for fuelling must be provided before then. We more than welcome Rolande’s entry into the LNG market with their own filling stations in Germany. The better the LNG fuelling infrastructure is developed, the greater the acceptance for the LNG technology will become.”


Bio-LNG (Bio-Liquefied Natural Gas) is a 100% biological fuel that can be derived from certified wastes such as organic household wastes, sludge, dung or agricultural wastes. It is low in emissions and climate-neutral with a high energy density, and can thereby contribute to reaching the climate-protection objectives for traffic. Bio-LNG is liquefied bio-methane or also liquefied, synthetically produced methane. It has the same chemical characteristics as LNG, but a drastically lower CO2-emission. Moreover, it emits 80 to 85 percent less dioxides compared to diesel, while sulphur dioxides and particulate matter are nearly completely eliminated.*

Norbert Fehn, CEO of the freight forwarder Pflaum GmbH, says, “Our aim as a logistics company is to significantly reduce our CO2 footprint – this initiative is also well received by our customers. The operation of vehicles running on natural gas has been problem-free so far and the drivers’ response has been positive across the board after initial reservations. To increase our fleet of LNG/CNG-fuelled trucks further, the filling station network must be urgently expanded further. The LNG infrastructure is not functional at this time than to be able to use the trucks flexibly. The organisation of an independent LNG fuelling network by Rolande is an important step to ensure the full coverage supply at traffic hubs. We hope that we can be on the road 100% Co2-neutral in the future – with bio-LNG.”

About Rolande

Rolande is celebrating its 15-year anniversary in the year 2020. In the course of its corporate history, Rolande has been decisively involved in getting liquefied, cryogenic natural gas LNG established as a fuel for road haulage and to continuously expand the possibilities for use further. This includes, for example, the development of bio-LNG, which can be produced completely climate-neutrally from organic biomaterial.

Rolande develops, builds and operates its own network of LNG filling stations in Europe while simultaneously concentrating exclusively on LNG and bio-LNG. At this time, Rolande has the largest number of LNG sties in the Netherlands. With the introduction of an LNG filling station network in Germany, Rolande makes an important step in the expansion of a European LNG filling station network.

*Source: DENA