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CNG Fuels plans to become UK’s first supplier of carbon-neutral fuel for HGVs

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CNG Fuels has announced plans to become the UK’s first supplier of carbon-neutral fuel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), using manure to help fleet operators achieve net zero emissions. According to the firm, HGVs account for 4.2% of UK carbon emissions.

The company, headquartered in the West Midlands, is the UK’s leading supplier of bio-CNG (compressed natural gas) fuel, sourced 100% from renewable biomethane. Bio-CNG is the lowest-carbon and most cost-effective alternative to diesel for HGVs, cutting vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 85% and costs by 35-45%.

Methane emitted from manure is a powerful GHG that is 28 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Using methane from manure as a HGV fuel prevents it from reaching the atmosphere and reduces emissions. The EU’s revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) recognises biomethane from manure as a carbon-negative fuel. According to CNG Fuels, the UK is expected to adopt this in 2021, regardless of Brexit.

“We want to help decarbonise freight transport and enable fleet operators to meet net zero targets now, supporting the UK’s climate targets,” said Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels. “Renewable biomethane sourced from manure is currently the best low-carbon solution for HGVs, but we want to be ready to support our customers when other technologies are commercially viable for freight transport.”

The company currently sources biomethane from food waste but is in the process of securing supplies of biomethane from manure to create a net zero emissions fuel (on a well-to-wheel basis). It hopes to begin offering carbon-neutral biomethane from 2021. It is also developing a nationwide network of public access HGV refuelling stations on major routes to reach fleet operators all over the UK.

CNG Fuels believes this strategic network will be well-placed to support battery-electric and hydrogen-powered HGVs in the future. Philip Fjeld added: “We want to support our customers when new low-carbon fuels become available, so when we build our Bio-CNG stations, we carry out a review to understand how we can fuel hydrogen and electric trucks. We are in discussions with numerous providers of alternative fuelling solutions and consulting with customers on how they expect their needs to evolve.”

CNG Fuels began supplying RFTO-certified renewable biomethane three years ago. It is the UK’s only dedicated provider of public access CNG refuelling infrastructure. By spring 2020, it hopes to have six refuelling stations in operation serving major trunk roads and cities, and capable of refuelling up to 3,000 HGVs a day. CNG has been adopted by a growing number of freight operators. The John Lewis partnership has committed to replacing its entire 500-strong fleet with CNG vehicles by 2028, and Hermes also plans to replace its 200-strong fleet of diesel trucks.