“With tears in my eyes, I watched on as we were forced to adjust our prices last week, with one kilo of LNG now costing more than 3 euros. This is something that seemed unthinkable a year ago. It is a direct consequence of the sky-high energy and, in this case, gas prices.
Ever more extreme things have been happening in recent years that have had a major impact on society as a whole (Covid, sticky supply chains, etc.). The high gas prices that are a direct result of the war in Ukraine, and Russia’s reaction to sanctions imposed by the West, are no exception. As we all know, Russia is squeezing the gas supply, thereby limiting the availability of gas. Which means Europe’s energy supplies, especially for the coming winter months, are directly at risk.
A better planet
However, this ongoing situation is also affecting those parties who, in recent years, have been investing in a better planet: hauliers and their clients who have purchased cleaner trucks. Trucks that run on a cleaner alternative to diesel, namely LNG (liquefied natural gas). Parties who dare to innovate; who stick their necks out by choosing an alternative to diesel. Who would like to make a little more progress towards a truly sustainable variant, or a fuel made entirely from waste flows: Bio-LNG. Many of these already run on a blend of LNG and Bio-LNG. However, it is precisely these parties that are now being hit the hardest, with their fuel costs having quadrupled in the span of a year because one person wishes to assert his power. As much as 15-20% CO2 has been saved by these brave hauliers in recent years. And savings are even as high as 80 to 90% compared to a diesel truck for those parties using Bio-LNG. Which is great news for our planet and the climate targets set by the European and Dutch authorities. However, from a financial standpoint, these CO2 savings are of no value to hauliers.
So, you are feeling the pinch right now if LNG trucks are part of your fleet. But what’s the outlook? The price of gas will definitely drop again in the future. After all, there is much more gas in the world than oil. The fact that gas is currently more expensive than oil is strange, since this has hardly ever happened in the past. But when exactly is this going to happen? That’s the million euro question…. Until then, we at Rolande will do everything we can to ensure the price of LNG is as low as possible. However, as a small player in the world gas market, our options are very limited. Having trained as an economist, I am well aware that current market circumstances are generating these results. After all, the system of supply and demand is lesson one when it comes to economics. However, this system is now leading to sky-high fuel costs for sustainable hauliers – and high profits for predominantly fossil-based production companies. I don’t have the answer, but things certainly feel out of balance.
The most positive prospect is the development of Bio-LNG. There are numerous projects in the pipeline that will lead to a much larger volume of Bio-LNG becoming available. Such projects, however, have a long turnaround time (permits, construction time, etc.). Be that as it may, there will be substantially more Bio-LNG available by the time 2024 comes round. Which will make the cleanest alternative to diesel available to many more parties. I can almost hear you thinking: “What about electric and hydrogen trucks?” These are indeed good alternatives. Nevertheless, these vehicles are either currently incapable of similar performance (in terms of distance, weight, cost), or aren’t available at all. That is not to mention the major limitations in charging infrastructure and the production of green hydrogen. I would like to return to this topic at a later stage.
For now, I stand in solidarity with all those companies and individuals who have to pay dearly for their conscious choice of a clean alternative. I am fully behind you, and am doing everything in my power to ensure the costs of this alternative are as low as possible. Hang in there! As well as saving on significant amounts of CO2, things can only get better…..”