Swiss Quality

23. December 2019

A First for Liquefied Natural Gas in Switzerland: HINE and the approval of the first Swiss LNG filling stations

Peter Krummen, CEO of Krummen Kerzers and Operator of the first LNG filling stations:

“Without HINE’s expertise and know-how, it would not have been possible to procure and install two LNG filling stations with all the necessary permits in less than 10 months. The engineers at HINE were excellent guides through the process and even supported us with the practical implementation. ”

The transport and logistics company Krummen Kerzers and the retailer Lidl Switzerland are pursuing their project “LNG – Bridge to the Future” to bring liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Switzerland as a substitute for the diesel fuel currently used by heavy-duty vehicles.

LNG is cryogenic liquefied natural gas and has ecological advantages compared to diesel, such as a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 15 percent as well as a significant reduction in nitrogen oxides and an almost complete lack of fine dust in the exhaust. In order to be able to refuel vehicles with LNG, the project decided to purchase two LNG filling stations, one at the Lidl distribution center in Sévaz and one at the Lidl distribution center in Weinfelden.

Plants with cryogenic liquefied natural gas are not widespread in Switzerland and until the project “LNG – Bridge to the Future” was implemented, there were no options for refueling LNG in Switzerland. When using LNG as fuel, several technical aspects have to be considered. On the one hand, liquid natural gas has a cryogenic temperature of less than -150 ° C and is, therefore, technically part of the field of cryotechnology. On the other hand, natural gas forms an explosive mixture when exposed to oxygen in the air, so the operator of the fueling station must conform to the relevant regulations and must implement further safety measures. HINE, as a proven expert in the fields of cryotechnology and explosion protection, was commissioned to support the approval process for the first pure LNG filling stations in Switzerland.

Alongside the technical advice provided by Krummen Kerzers and Lidl Switzerland, the approval process was guided by HINE in cooperation with SUVA. To meet the requirements of the ATEX operating guidelines 1999/92 / EG, necessary calculations and analyzes were carried out and the documentation was created taking into account SUVA leaflet 2153. This included, among other things, the zoning restrictions at the locations of the LNG filling stations and an ignition source analysis. Furthermore, the operating instructions for the various activities at and around the LNG filling stations were written. Specialist knowledge from the field of cryotechnology was also incorporated to prevent accidents and to ensure that the filling stations can operate as safely as possible. HINE is pleased to be able to contribute to the successful introduction of LNG as an alternative to diesel as fuel for transport vehicles in Switzerland.