Gasrec, pioneer of Bio-LNG (liquefied landfill biomethane) for transport fuel and supplier for gas powered HGVs on UK roads, reports the last six months have been exceptionally productive, with growth and consolidation across all areas of its business – from the supply and transportation of biomethane to its national refuelling network through to its support and collaboration with new customers undertaking trials and making the decision to convert fleets to LNG.
The company maintained its market leadership position of fuelling more than 60% of gas trucks on UK roads using LNG and Bio-LNG. Over the period, the industry has also benefitted from an increasingly stable gas price and an attractive differential between gas and diesel.
Focussing on strategic growth, Gasrec is progressing multiple infrastructure projects to develop its network of open access stations and bespoke refuelling facilities at key customer sites. With an existing portfolio of nine stations, it has plans to open a further five stations across the UK by June 2015, with additional sites in planning for the second half of 2016. These stations will be EU co-funded through the TEN-T programme and through Innovate UK matched funding grants which aim to grow new fuelling infrastructure across all Europe’s key transport corridors.
Against this backdrop, Gasrec has welcomed the EU’s new directive on minimum infrastructure requirements for alternative fuels, requiring member states to produce ‘alternative fuel deployment strategies’ by late 2016. This will include new common technical standards, providing welcome long-term security for investors in vehicle and fuel technology, and in new refuelling infrastructure. The company also welcomed the additional funding in the government’s Autumn Statement to increase ultra-low emission vehicles in London as part of its overall £500 million (USD 750m) package between 2015 and 2020 to put more such vehicles on UK roads.
As the market matures, Gasrec continues to support and encourage industry bodies and other key stakeholders to raise standards and develop new best practice regulations and procedures. It has also been working closely with the Health & Safety Executive and the Environment Agency in relation to best practice design and operational standards for existing and new facilities.
For gas supplied in and around the UK, Gasrec has established a new contract with leading logistics supplier, Suttons. Under the Suttons contract, deliveries will be made using two new Volvo Methane Diesel OEM Euro 5 dual fuel gas trucks, which will allow Gasrec to monitor and analyse ‘first hand’ the commercial and environmental performance benefits of operating dual fuel vehicles.
Gasrec is also working closely with Prins and Volvo on a programme of Euro 6 conversions. Last month Prins successfully launched the first gas-converted Euro 6 vehicle and this development will be key in increasing the amount of gas powered HGV’s in the UK. Alongside the Prins/Volvo project, Gasrec is also actively involved with Scania in promoting the new Euro 6 dedicated gas vehicle that was launched this month and is encouraged to hear so many customers are looking to trial these vehicles in 2015.
Lastly, the company’s senior management continues to urge business leaders to embrace the benefits of gas. Rob Wood, CEO, made the case discussing conversion practicalities and key issues still faced, at September’s UK Biomethane and Gas Vehicle Conference. While in late September, speaking to industry leaders at the IRTE conference, chief commercial officer, Ben Sawford, waved his formal presentation in favour of a more open discussion on the uptake of gas across UK fleets, developments in vehicle technology and the future deployment of stations.