UK’s First Grid-Connected CNG Station Opens
CNG Fuels, a UK developer of Compressed Natural Gas distribution infrastructure, has together with National Grid unveiled a new state-of-the-art filling station in Leyland, Lancashire, allowing vehicles to fill up on gas direct from the high-pressure local transmission system. The new facility, the first of its kind in the UK, is capable of refuelling more than five hundred HGVs per day.
Located near to junction 28 on the M6, the CNG filling station will be accessible around the clock, 365 days a year. The facility also supplies 100% renewable biomethane (Bio-CNG) and is an important part of the UK’s rapidly growing CNG refuelling infrastructure. The bio-methane is made from waste at anaerobic digestion plants and delivered to the filling station through the National Grid pipeline system.
Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Partnership, has a regional distribution centre less than one mile from the new CNG filling station and will be the station’s anchor customer.
Philip Fjeld, director at CNG Fuels, said: “Even though the price of diesel and petrol has recently plummeted, the wholesale price of natural gas has also dropped, and our customers can still enjoy a pump price of CNG at our Leyland station that is more than 30% cheaper than the equivalent price of one litre of diesel.”
“Using natural gas also cuts CO2 emissions by more than 20% and if fleets choose to fuel their trucks with Bio-CNG, they will be running on 100% renewable gas,” Fjeld added.
National Grid’s network strategy director, David Parkin, said: “CNG dispensed from a station connected to the local transmission system, is the cheapest fuel available to HGVs, as well as having the lowest well-to-wheel emissions of any fossil-based HGV fuel. Whether it’s CNG or Bio-CNG, the benefits for HGVs are clear; lower emissions, quieter engine noise and competitive fuel prices, compared with traditional liquid fuels.”
Justin Laney, central transport general manager for the John Lewis Partnership, added: “John Lewis Partnership is committed to running a sustainable logistics operation, and the use of low carbon fuels in our vehicle fleet is a key element of that. Our strategy is to displace diesel with biomethane where practical, and we run one of the largest alternatively fueled heavy truck fleets in the UK to enable us to do that. This filling station is an important step that will help us continue to improve our fleet sustainability.”
CNG Services Ltd (CSL) managed the design and build of the CNG station. John Baldwin, CSL managing director says: “Overcoming the challenges presented by connecting to the high pressure grid is a big step forward in the reduction of greenhouse gas from UK transport and signals the start of a shift from diesel to clean natural gas as the fuel of choice for trucks.”
Baldwin continues: “The UK has a uniquely attractive asset in the form of 10,000 KM of high pressure gas grid that is located close to most major distribution depots. I pay tribute to National Grid Distribution for identifying that this asset is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint from road haulage, with much less energy required for compression together with very high CNG flow rates. With significant quantities of biomethane now being injected into the gas grid, we can look to a future with Bio-CNG taking carbon out of road transport and improving air quality at the same time”.
CNG Fuels was spun out of CNG Services in 2014 and owns the UK’s largest public access CNG filling station in Crewe.
(Sources: National Grid, CNG Services Ltd)