Privately-owned Chinese energy company ENN has opened its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuelling station for HGVs in the UK. The LNG station is being used by the UK’s largest hotel and restaurant group, Whitbread, operating at Kuehne + Nagel’s depot in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, to refuel 16 dual-fuel, natural gas-powered HGVs for Whitbread commercial operations around the UK.
The station is the first deployment in Europe of a 45’ ISO containerised “plug and play” liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuelling station, 200+ of which already operate successfully in China. This compact, unmanned system dramatically reduces lead times for the installation of refuelling infrastructure, and provides a fast and reliable solution for natural gas vehicle refuelling.
As a transportation fuel, LNG reduces costs and carbon compared to crude oil-based products, and has huge potential to reduce the environmental impact of logistics operations.
ENN’s containerised station includes eight tonnes of LNG storage, integral cryogenic pump and dispenser, and “market-leading” net metering and billing systems. The station design uses a modular approach: extra storage capacity can be added as and when required, as can additional dispensers and cryogenic pumps, and the station can also be expanded to enable refuelling with compressed natural gas (CNG).
With the ability to deploy such facilities quickly, ENN has developed a growth strategy for both the UK and Europe which will see natural gas refuelling stations deployed at both customer depots and open access sites, to enable natural gas-powered HGV fleets to operate reliably throughout Northwest Europe.
“ENN has ambitious plans to rapidly develop a network of natural gas refuelling stations in Northwest Europe, and will open several more stations in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany in 2015” says Michael Liu, General Manager of ENN Europe. “Our aim is to ultimately provide seamless LNG refuelling for companies like Kuehne + Nagel and Whitbread throughout the UK and the whole of Europe, and Wellingborough marks an important milestone on this journey.”