In October 2012 National Grid Grain LNG, the operator of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) importation terminal on the Isle of Grain in England’s south east county of Kent, expressed interest in developing an LNG loading service for road tankers. That service became a reality this week with Gasrec supplying the first ‘road delivered’ LNG from the Grain terminal into the UK’s LNG filling station network, which fuels low emission natural gas vehicles. Continental Europe will be supplied from the terminal also.
Gasrec, who assisted National Grid with its initial commissioning process, will now use the state-of-the-art Grain facility to supply its growing national truck refuelling infrastructure, through which it already fuels over 60 per cent of low emission natural gas vehicles on the country’s road network. The facility is ideally located close to major UK road networks and boasts quick access to and from continental Europe.
Rob Wood, Gasrec CEO, said: “This is excellent news both for Gasrec and for the many retail and logistics companies in the UK who have invested in growing their fleets of low emission gas vehicles. The critical aspect has always been to ensure the UK has reliable and consistent availability of gas fuel – and the new Grain terminal is a crucial supply point into this network.
“The economic, commercial and environmental benefits of natural gas as a vehicle fuel are already widely recognised in Europe and around the world. It is now time for the UK to take these benefits seriously and encourage growth of this beneficial low emission technology, particularly when improving our air quality and reducing pollution is such a critical issue.
“Grain certainly puts the UK ahead of the rest of Europe. We now have the largest LNG import terminal thanks to National Grid investing in such a strategically important piece of infrastructure, we have the largest LNG refuelling station at DIRFT near Northampton and we already have more HGVs running on LNG than anywhere else in Europe – perfect foundations for increased wide scale use.”
In a National Grid press release, Simon Culkin, importation terminal manager at Grain LNG, comments: “It is a great time to launch a truck loading facility. We are seeing many key government and market signals lining up to drive the adoption for LNG as a fuel, such as tightening emission regulation and the availability of dedicated technologies, together with the huge demand we have had from our customers and road tanker operators.”
“There is a significant amount of world-wide LNG available to meet UK and global gas demand. This, together with the inherent environmental benefits of using LNG compared to diesel for example, makes a compelling case for LNG as a fuel,” he concluded.
Gasrec worked closely with National Grid throughout its commissioning process to ensure all appropriate systems for tanker offloading were operating safely, including the running of deluge testing during simulated off-loading operations. The multi-bay facility will be operational around the clock, 365 days a year, initially offering 36 slots for road tankers each day. National Grid has planning permission in place to increase the size of the facility, doubling the amount of bays available from two to four, subject to market demand.
Gasrec supplies both LNG and CNG through 10 refuelling stations across the UK. The company designs, installs and manages ‘open-access’ and dedicated on-site refuelling facilities for its many transport customers, which include Arla, B&Q, Brit European, Culina Ambient, DHL Supply Chain, John Lewis, Kuehne + Nagel, Lenham, Muller Wiseman Dairies, NISA, Sainsbury’s, Stobart Transport, Howard Tenens, Tesco Distribution, UPS and Waitrose.
(Sources: Gasrec and National Grain)