Irish natural gas distribution and supply company, firmus energy, has partnered with Granville Eco Park to decarbonise its fleet.
Firmus energy will initially use a jointly branded van, currently being fuelled by Granville’s renewable biomethane gas produced at its anaerobic digestion plant in Dungannon to showcase the sustainability credentials of CNG technology, before transitioning the rest of the fleet to CNG.
The first van to be used by firmus energy can travel over 200 miles with a single fill and has a small petrol tank as a reserve. The environmental benefits are significant – biomethane produces up to 85% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to the standard diesel alternative.
Granville currently has a fuelling station on site where it fuels its fleet with 100% renewable biomethane and also transports the gas to customers across Northern Ireland by road.
There is currently no means to inject renewable gas into Northern Ireland’s gas networks. It is envisaged that injection will be available by mid-2022, enabling haulage and logistics companies to improve their sustainability credentials by utilising biogas in their HGVs, buses and vans.
“HGVs account for 17% of all transport emissions but they aren’t able to utilise battery technology, so there are significant environmental benefits to be achieved by transitioning large diesel vehicles onto CNG,” said firmus energy’s sustainability manager, Neil Gallagher.
“Firmus energy is leading by example in adopting CNG technology in its engineering fleet and will also equip us to advise commercial customers who are keen to make carbon savings for their own fleet.
“The rural nature of the firmus energy network outside Greater Belfast means we are uniquely placed to introduce biomethane into the existing natural gas network and offer renewable gas tariffs to customers in the future, subject to regulatory approval.”
David McKee, chief technical officer at Granville Eco Park, commented: “We process unavoidable food waste to generate biomethane, electricity and fertiliser in a proven, effective circular economy model.
“Renewable gas will be instrumental in decarbonising heat, power and heavy-duty vehicles and we are already transporting gas to factories and food processing sites throughout Northern Ireland using our own zero-emissions CNG lorries.”