January 31, 2021. Copergás expanded the compressed natural gas (CNG) supply network in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco in 2020, connecting 13 new filling stations in the Metropolitan Region of Recife and in the interior. The growth occurred despite the fact that the segment was one of the most affected by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In April and May 2020, for example, months of peak illness, only two vehicles were converted to CNG use in the state, one per month.
The market, however, is already in full recovery, and the expansion of the refueling station network is essential to cope with the growth of the automobile fleet. In November 2020, the total number of conversions reached 867, a figure higher than that registered in November 2019, which was 860. The fleet of vehicles with CNG in Pernambuco today is 67,341; in 2019 it was 62,398. Pernambuco currently has 78 service stations with natural gas. For 2021, Copergás forecast is to connect at least 15 others, after the growing expansion of the segment.
As economic activities resume, the demand for CNG grows. Being a high performance fuel and lower price than the others, it is attractive especially for taxi drivers, application drivers and individuals who make long daily trips. It is also an option for company fleets and cargo vehicles. The conversion is carried out with the installation of a kit, without having to eliminate the use of the original fuel of the car.
December was the month in which Copergás made the largest number of station interconnections, five in total. One was in the municipality of Tacaimbó, in Agreste, about 170 km from Recife. The rest are located in the capital and Metropolitan Region, such as Cemopel 1, in the Recife de Graças neighborhood, and Guarujá, in the city of Jaboatão dos Guararapes.