Clean energy supplier ENN Clean Fuels opened a new state-of-the-art refuelling station for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at Albert Heijn’s grocery distribution center in Zaandam (the Netherlands) on May 10. Albert Heijn is a Dutch frontrunner in the use of LNG as a cleaner replacement for diesel in heavy duty road transportation.
In close collaboration with logistics service provider Simon Loos, no fewer than thirty LNG-powered trucks were introduced into Albert Heijn’s fleet for retail distribution in 2011 – at the time it was a global first. The combination of an LNG-powered engine with the striking looks and safe operations of the Mercedes-Benz Econic, garnered widespread attention and helped put LNG trucks for retail distribution on the map.
Following this successful pioneering work of Albert Heijn and Simon Loos, more transport partners have followed their example, and over 10% of all trucks that serve Albert Heijn now run on LNG. LNG trucks offer great advantages in terms of reducing local air pollutants and noise levels. Because of this, delivery time windows can be expanded and special exemptions in urban areas are applicable.
The advancement of LNG as an important fuel for road transportation has justified ENN’s investment in the new refuelling facility, which replaces ENN’s existing semi-mobile station in Zaandam. The new installation uses the latest state-of-the-art technology, and has a storage capacity of 60.000 litres of LNG – sufficient to refuel 150 trucks every day.
Together with Simon Loos, ENN has developed an ingenious ‘pump release and registration system’: a specially installed truck connection which wirelessly communicates with the refuelling station to automatically and remotely read all relevant truck, fuel, and driver information. Human intervention is no longer necessary, and vehicle and refuelling information will be 100% reliable and digitally available, in order to make life easier for fleet managers. This solution has a beneficial impact on the safety and speed of the transaction, as well as the reliability of vehicle and refuelling data.
The new station will be used by Albert Heijn charters that serve the region. It is 24/7 available and remotely monitored by ENN’s operations department: this department also took care of the safety and refuelling trainings, and certification of all 160 drivers that will make use of the new facility.
(Source: ENN Clean Fuels B.V. and Simon Loos B.V.)