United Kingdom bio-fuel supplier Gasrec reports the last 12 months have seen exceptional growth and consolidation across all aspects of the company’s operations. Gasrec says it is now Europe’s leading supplier of liquefied gas fuel to the road transport sector and fuels more than 60% of dual-fuel gas powered HGVs on UK roads, helping operators cut fuel costs and significantly reduce pollution.
With a strengthened management team, led by new CEO and ex-senior BP executive Rob Wood, and chairman Patrick Mocatta, the company now owns and operates eleven refuelling stations across the UK, with five having opened in the last six months. Included in the stations is the UK’s first ‘open-access’ bio-LNG (liquefied biomethane) filling station at the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal adjacent to the M1.
As a pioneer in the supply of liquefied gas fuel to the transport sector, Gasrec has successfully secured funding from a range of UK and EU government grant programmes, including through the Technology Strategy Board, TEN-T and European LNG Blue Corridors. The company has also prequalified for the UK government’s Infrastructure Guarantee Programme.
Looking forward, the company is in the process of developing a number of strategic station locations and is working with existing and new customers to extend its refuelling network to take account of the growing number of trucks now converting to gas and the potential for market growth.
At the end of 2013, Gasrec secured European funding through the TEN-T programme to build a further four ‘open-access’ refuelling stations in the UK and two mobile stations in continental Europe by the end of 2015. Experience gained will contribute to the setting of LNG refuelling standards and a roadmap for deploying LNG stations across the European TEN-T road network.
Crucially for the transport industry, these developments have taken place against a backdrop of growing government interest in, and support of, use of natural gas as a road fuel. This is a position that Gasrec supports through its active membership of an influential new industry group (comprising B&Q, Clean Air Power, Gasrec, Mercedes, Tesco, UPS and Volvo) that is increasingly involved in discussion with Ministers and their respective government departments.
The group has recently responded to the government’s ‘call for evidence’ on the future of advanced low-carbon fuels – its specific response was on the role biomethane can play in decarbonising transport and creating new, green jobs. It is also currently engaged in further discussions with government over the subsidy position for liquefied biomethane as a transport fuel and the need to encourage the faster development of a strategic supply network across the UK motorway network.
One welcome outcome of this increased government support has seen the duty differential on road fuel gases such as LNG, CNG and biomethane, fixed at current levels for the next 10 years with the effective fuel duty being half that of diesel.