CNG Fuels opens Europe’s largest biomethane refuelling station

Demand for renewable biomethane compressed natural gas (Bio-CNG), the low-carbon and low-cost alternative to diesel for HGVs, has soared 800% since 2017 and is set to more than double this year, CNG Fuels announced, after adding two new refuelling stations to its network with the support of Ingenious.

The new stations in Warrington – Europe’s biggest – and Northampton are capable of refuelling over 1,000 HGVs a day, more than doubling the 600-a-day capacity of its existing stations at Leyland, Lancashire and Crewe, Cheshire. The company is also planning to open an additional six to eight stations over the next 12 months as it expands its strategic network of HGV refuelling stations in line with burgeoning demand.

CNG Fuels has helped haulers save 55,000 tonnes of CO2 since it began supplying renewable and sustainable Bio-CNG in 2017. That’s expected to rise to 90,000 tonnes by the end of 2020 as demand increases by more than double, thanks to major brands such as John Lewis Partnership, Parcel company Hermes, and Home Bargains committing to switching from diesel.

100% 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 currently sourced from waste feedstocks, such as food waste, and is the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to diesel for HGVs – it cuts vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 85% and is 35%-40% cheaper than diesel.

The company is now securing supplies of biomethane from manure to create a fuel that will be net zero emissions on a well-to-wheel basis*. It expects to begin offering carbon neutral biomethane across all sites from next year at the same price as the renewable biomethane fuel it currently supplies.

HGVs account for 4.2% of UK carbon emissions, so decarbonising the sector is essential to meet the UK’s goal of achieving Net Zero by 2050. Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels, said: “We’re at a tipping point. Fleet operators are waking up to the urgency and scale of decarbonisation necessary for net-zero emissions by 2050 and we’re seeing demand for our fuel increase rapidly as a result.

Our customers ordered hundreds of new biomethane fuelled trucks in 2019 and that trend is only set to accelerate over the next decade. “We’re making the transition to carbon neutrality easier for fleet operators by developing a nationwide network of public access biomethane stations on major trucking routes and at key logistics hubs.”

The station in Warrington is located at Omega South on the M62, catering to several major hauliers based in the area. It can refuel up to 800 HGVs daily and serve 12 vehicles simultaneously.

The Northampton station is situated at the Red Lion Truckstop off the M1 and can refuel more than 350 HGVs a day. The site is also part of the UK’s first large-scale study of how renewable and sustainable biomethane can help slash road transport emissions, supported by the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.

The John Lewis Partnership has already committed to phasing out all diesel-powered heavy trucks from its fleet and replacing them with over 500 new state-of-the-art Waitrose & Partners and John Lewis & Partners vehicles running on biomethane by 2028.

Parcel company Hermes is also replacing its 200-strong fleet of diesel trucks, using Warrington one of its largest distribution hubs as a springboard. Other major customers adopting biomethane include Home Bargains, ASDA, Argos, Royal Mail, DHL and Cadent.