UK logistics specialists Stobart Group has brought its new liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling station on-stream in Appleton Thorn, Cheshire. The station is part of a £23m (USD 37.5m) programme coordinated by the Technology Strategy Board designed to encourage road haulage operators to switch to low-carbon commercial vehicles.
The funding provided by the Technology Strategy Board was matched by an investment from Eddie Stobart, enabling it to operate a fleet of 20 new dual fuel Volvo tractor units from the site. Other LNG fleet operators may also access the station installed by BOC.
Visiting the new refuelling station for the first time, Jon Horsley, lead technologist, low carbon vehicles, from the UK’s innovation agency the Technology Strategy Board commented: “The Technology Strategy Board is committed to supporting the introduction of low-carbon vehicles to the logistics industry, which employs over 2 million people and is crucial to the UK economy. I am delighted that the Technology Strategy Board has been able to help support BOC and Stobart launch this new LNG facility.”
The refuelling station forms part of a project to track both the usage of LNG and the reduction in CO2 emissions and employs innovative ‘zero loss’ refuelling technology, developed by BOC, a member of the Linde Group. This uses cryogenic cooling to ‘temperature-condition’ the fuel just prior to dispensing, which prevents leaks.
Dual-fuel is an innovative technology that allows natural gas to be used in conjunction with diesel, reducing the total consumption of diesel and cutting CO2 emissions. LNG typically accounts for up to 60 percent of total fuel consumption for a dual-fuel vehicle.
Diesel produces around 2.6 kg of CO2 for every litre burned, whereas LNG when used with diesel in a dual-fuel vehicle typically reduces CO2 emissions between 10 and 14 per cent.
Phil Spittle, Eddie Stobart general manager for fleet compliance added: “The transition from diesel to BOC’s dual-fuel technology has been extremely smooth and has allowed us to help stimulate innovation in the logistics sector. The use of dual-fuel vehicles is an exciting development and will support the increasing need for Eddie Stobart and its customers to reduce their carbon footprint.”
The Technology Strategy Board is an ‘arm’s length’ public body that reports to the UK government’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.