NGV industry is leading market toward green economic growth
Bae, Young-Tae, Acting President of KANGV
Korea is one of the fastest growing countries of the world. Rapid improvement of life quality and income has called for safer and more convenient living environment. With this trend, once considered a symbol of luxury and wealthy life, private car has now become a necessity for leisure and transportation that elevates our everyday life. Currently, every 2.5 people possess 1 car in Korea.
But the increase of car consumption has also caused environmental problems such as air pollution and noise, which in turn resulted in the deterioration of life quality.
Korean Government is now promoting the manufacturing of low-pollution cars as a counter measure to the strengthening of emission standard such as Euro-5 and SULEV. Green car policy also prompts the use of NGV, Hybrids and installation of DPF on operating diesel vehicles. Among these various measures to cope with pollution, NGV promotion has proved to be the most effective in terms of cost efficiency and environmental improvement. But there are some obstacles to be cleared for the expansion of NGV and its technological diversification.
1. NGV(CNG bus) promotion program CNG buses showed 0 exhaust fumes and other pollutants emission were 60% lower compared to those of diesel ones. Its cheap fuel cost has had a major contribution to the nation's economic growth.
Conversion kits and parts required for the manufacturing of NGV required for a new industry, creating many jobs and positions. The industry then matured to contribute to the export increase and without doubt NGV promotion program is now recognized as one of a successful national projects led by the Ministry of Environment Korea.
As of May 2012, there are 34,687 NGV's and 180 CNG refueling stations operating nationwide in Korea. NGV industry enabled the country to relieve its dependency on petroleum and led to the energy diversification in domestic transportation sector. It is backing up air quality improvement and GHG reduction, an unavoidable measure to cope with Framework Convention on Climate Change. NGV is expected to continue playing an important part in transportation sector.
But with time, competition is getting tougher everyday. Alternative energy sources are continuously on development and being applied to transportation sector. Once considered a polluting fuel source has, after vigorous research and improvement, now recognized as a clean energy by the public. Competition is one of the obstacles that is slowing down the development of NGVindustry.
2. Strengthening the research on NGV NGV industry requires official research data on : Emission gases, fuel efficiency, CO₂ level output through chassis-dynamo test and therefore suggestion of harmful effects on human body by PM emission. Technical development which is compliant with strengthened emission standards (especially with Euro-6 from year 2013) has to be prepared.
Natural gas, as a fuel itself, is a green energy but it is required to develop low-carbon, zero-emission technology with enhancement of engine performance. Advanced countries have already recognized natural gas as a driving force toward the next generation hydrogen fuel market and are vigorously undertaking research and development on eco-friendly and high fuel efficiency techniques such as hybrid, post-processing and hydrogen mixed natural gas.
As per domestic case, CNG-hybridand HCNGbuses are on development under the control of Ministry of Environment. But it is expected to take much effort and time before commercialization when we consider the construction of related infra-structures, system and regulations and also due to increased financial burden on the buyers.
3. NGV technology export NGVindustry now has to turn eyes to overseas market and step forward as a global leader. NGV industry started with 22 million USD export in 2004 and recorded 810 million USD export in aggregate by the end of 2011, which is a quite promising figure considering the situation of global recession during recet years. Globally, private cars and LDV(Light Duty Vehicles) dominates the market share whereas domestic market is confined to large vehicles such as intra-city buses, garbage trucks and some converted cars. Domestic composition of NGV can hinder overseas market penetration.
Rigid domestic market structure can pose threat to export and overseas marketing . To overcome this drawback, NGV industry has to revitalize the promotion program and widen its product range by developing for example truck, bus, train, ship and construction machinery operating on LNG and other mixed fuels.
Hosting international events and other cooperative programs can promote global recognition and credibility on domestic NGV industry in general. In this context, Global-Korea NGV forum is held annually since 2008 to share policy know-how and experience with central Asia and CIScountries. This year Indonesian public officers and executives in NGVfield were invited to run an educative program, where they toured various domestic NGV related sites and shared information on government policy and technology of both countries through seminar.
In June, Indonesia-Korea NGV forum took place in Jakarta and Korean government officers and CEOs from NGV industry visited Indonesia to further promote technical exchange between two countries through programs like technical conference, business exhibitions and meetings. Indonesia has abundant reserve of natural gas and is currently carrying out Oil-to-gas conversion project to diversify its energy source and to reduce metropolitan air pollution. This is a step forward to solve chronic issues caused by granting fuel subsidy to that contributes up to 20% of national budget in Indonesia. Government is initially trying CNG conversion of public transportations of approximately 14,000 within this year and gradually cover the whole public transportation sector of 250,000. And if the policy expands to private sector, 2.5 million vehicles are expected to run on natural gas.
KANGV and MOE expect these series of events to contribute to building active cooperative channel with Indonesia and to the increase of export volume in near future. 1:1 business meetings with Indonesian side arranged while Korean entrepreneurs were visiting Jakarta shows an example that there is a high chance that our companies can find buyers with this program.
Especially, KANGVhas signed an MOU with Indonesian counterpart(APCNGI: Indonesian NGV Association) to make effort in joint promotion of:
- Sharing of information regarding NGV policy in respective country - Export increase by helping companies in NGV industry.
In October, KANGV is planning to host 2nd NGV forum in Uzbekistan, where NGV cooperation has activated since its 1st NGV forum in 2011. KANGV is planning on various technical and strategical development for the continuous export growth in NGV sector.
4. NGV promotion for green growth Green growth is an influential future trend and national strategy. On top of conventional energy mix of petroleum, diesel and LPG, new green alternatives such as bio-fuel, fuel-cell, hydrogen and electricity are introduced to the market. Considering Korea's energy insufficiency and opportunity cost in economic term, taking hands in every possible option is an inefficient and ignorant choice. Korea has to concentrate its capacity on natural gas, a green and economical energy source which is also abundant in reserve and infrastructure throughout the world.