Avonmouth site capable of refuelling up to 80 HGVs per hour and aims to cut carbon enissions by 70,000 tonnes a year
The UK’s fledgling biomethane trucking sector will take a major step forward today, with the official opening of “the world’s largest public access biomethane refuelling station” at a site in Avonmouth, near Bristol.
Renewable biomethane specialist CNG Fuels said the new site would be capable of refuelling up to 80 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) per hour and could cut carbon emissions by up to 70,000 tonnes a year. It is set to serve a number of high-profile brands that are already operating biomethane capable fleets of trucks, including Lidl, Royal Mail, Amazon and Warburtons, and should enable biogas fuelled deliveries across the South West and Wales for the first time.
Biomethane is widely regarded as a means of slashing carbon emissions and air pollution from HGVs while the industry waits for zero emission battery and fuel cell models to become available. CNG Fuels calculates that biomethane made from organic material and waste can cut HGV carbon emissions by up to 90 per cent and lifetime vehicle costs by 30 to 40 per cent compared to diesel models.
The company said the new facility joins a nationwide network of eight renewable biomethane refuelling stations, which covers the length and breadth of the country, enabling low carbon deliveries all the way from Inverness to Cornwall. The company is now aiming to build 12 additional stations each year to cater for growing demand from across a haulage industry that is under mounting pressure from customers and regulators to slash emissions and air pollution.
Demand for renewable biomethane has increased by 1,000 per cent over the last five years, CNG Fuels said, and is predicted to increase a further five-fold over the next five years as the UK’s 2040 ban on the sale of new diesel HGVs approaches.
“Brands across the country are under more and more pressure to cut emissions from fleets and renewable biomethane is the only commercially viable solution on the market today,” said Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels. “We are continuing to see high increases in demand and with the recent news of the 2040 ban on new diesel HGV’s, we expect the pace of demand to continue.
“We are rapidly expanding our nationwide network of refuelling stations, ensuring sites are strategically located across major trucking routes to make them as accessible as possible. The new site in Avonmouth is in a key location for many of our customers, allowing them to expand the reach of their low carbon deliveries into the South West and Wales.”
Fjeld also stressed that the company was “preparing for a multiple fuel future to ensure that when new technologies emerge, the infrastructure will already be in place to cater to demand”, pointing to new plans to undertake hydrogen trails this year.
The new facility was welcomed by Jason Wild, distribution and recycling consultant for Lidl, who said the site would help unlock further emissions savings for the supermarket giant. “We are committed to reducing our environmental impact across our entire operations and switching our fleets over to renewable biomethane instead of diesel is a crucial step,” he said. “CNG Fuels’ new station in Avonmouth is a key location to allow us to make low-carbon deliveries across the Southwest.”