CNG Fuels has commenced construction of two new public access renewable biomethane compressed natural gas (bio-CNG) refueling stations, two of five due to open in 2019 to cater for soaring demand from heavy goods vehicle (HGV) operators switching from diesel, the company announced.
The new public access bio-CNG stations will serve major truck routes and cities and will be able to refuel up to 3000 HGVs a day, a near 500 percent increase on capacity at the company’s existing England-based stations in Leyland, Lancashire and Crewe, Cheshire, which can refuel more than 600 vehicles daily.
According to the company, all of the fuel supplied by CNG Fuels is renewable and sustainable biomethane approved under the Department for Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) scheme. The gas is sourced from waste feedstocks such as food waste and cuts vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 85 percent.
Construction work on a station in Warrington, England, at Omega South on the M62, has begun. It is expected to be the largest public access gas refueling station in Europe, catering to several major haulers in the area. It will be able to refuel up to 800 HGVs a day and serve 12 vehicles simultaneously.
CNG Fuels has also commenced construction at Erdington, close to the M6 in Birmingham. The station will be able to refuel more than 600 HGVs a day and will be built on land belonging to Cadent, operators of Britain’s biggest gas distribution network, at its National Distribution Centre in Gravelly Way Industrial Park. Cadent, with whom CNG Fuels have collaborated previously on Leyland CNG station, has committed to convert its entire fleet from diesel to CNG.
These stations have been supported by Ingenious, an investment manager specializing in the infrastructure, real estate and media sectors. They are due to open in the fall together with a third, previously announced station at the Red Lion Truckstop off the M1 at Northampton, which will be able to refuel more than 350 HGVs a day. The Northampton station is part of the U.K.’s first large-scale study of how renewable and sustainable biomethane can help slash road transport emissions.
“The spotlight on climate change continues to grow in intensity, and the U.K. haulage sector has for many years been a laggard when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Philip Fjeld, CNG Fuels CEO, in a statement. “Renewable and sustainable biomethane allows companies to achieve deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, cut pollution and save money—no wonder demand is soaring. Our customers are already planning to order hundreds of new biomethane fuelled trucks in 2019, and we have interest from companies that run a third of the U.K.’s HGVs.”
The company also launched a new Bio-CNG tractor unit, which will allow trucks carrying loads of up to 44 tonnes to benefit from renewable and sustainable biomethane. The unit has been developed in collaboration with Iveco and Agility Fuel Solutions.
CNG Fuels said it expects to start construction on two more public access stations in the fall, at Larkhall in Scotland and Knowsley near Liverpool and plans to add a further eight in 2020, making renewable and sustainable biomethane fuel available throughout the U.K. It is also developing the portfolio with support from investment company Ingenious.
The government reinforced its support for biomethane as an alternative fuel in the last budget by extending the fuel duty differential between natural gas and diesel from 2024 to 2032. Element Energy forecasts the U.K. will have 10,000 HGVs and buses running on natural gas by 2020 and 60,000 by 2030.