Caltex Australia, in partnership with AGL Energy Limited (AGL), has launched a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling facility, located at its Star Mart site at Tullamarine, just 4 kms from Melbourne’s domestic and international airports. The press release states that by doing so, AGL is “leading the charge as the first major fuel supplier in Australia to offer this niche fuel on a service station site”.
The facility, opened this week by Caltex’s Executive General Manager Commercial, Bruce Rosengarten, is expected to mainly service commercial truck fleets already operating with the fuel, such as major distribution company Toll IPEC. The filling station is open to public access and is available in the diesel refuelling area of the site.
Since the purchase of its first CNG truck in 2012, Toll IPEC has gone on to add more than 60 CNG trucks to its fleet, as well as a CNG Mercedes-Benz prime mover in 2013. The company says the “Mercedes-Benz Econic burns far less fuel than petrol or diesel vehicles, and is better for the environment because it runs on natural gas and does not release any particulate emissions into the atmosphere”. The Econic gas engine produces 205kW (280hp) of power and maximum torque of 1000Nm from a 7-litre engine.
“While commercial trucks, buses and machinery represent the vast majority of the 3,000 existing CNG vehicles operating nationally, building this type of refuelling infrastructure will give motorists with compatible vehicles access to the niche fuel too,” Mr Rosengarten said.
“There is a growing trend toward natural gas with more than 20 million¹ vehicles powered by the fuel globally. In Australia a major barrier is the lack of new vehicles designed to use the fuel and, as a result, there has not been demand for refuelling facilities,” Rosengarten added.
“This partnership can help businesses focus on cost effectiveness and enable them to reduce their environmental footprints, so we believe it is a smart choice for fleet companies,” said AGL Executive General Manager New Energy Marc England.
In Australia, natural gas is sold in kilograms and is priced at approximately $1.60 kg.
(Source: Caltex Australia)
Note: ¹Updated by NGV Global