Retail giants Waitrose, John Lewis and Argos to use renewable biomethane fuel in lorries

Retail heavyweights Waitrose, John Lewis and Argos long-distance lorries are among the first users in the UK of a renewable biomethane fuel which is 35%-40% cheaper than diesel and emits 70% less CO2.

UK-based CNG Fuels will be supplying the retailers with compressed natural gas using biomethane produced from food waste.

According to CNG Fuels, renewable biomethane fuel is 35%-40% cheaper than diesel, and emits 70% less CO2, on a well-to-wheel basis.

Commenting on the news, Justin Laney, General Manager Central Transport, John Lewis Partnership, said: “We are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and playing our part in tackling climate change. Renewable biomethane gives us the opportunity to make our fleet cleaner and quieter and, with significant cost savings, there is a compelling business case to switch from diesel."

CNG Fuels is a well-known supplier of CNG fuel, and it is now sourcing its entire supply from biomethane. It is made from the gas harvested through the processing of waste generated by food production, which is then injected directly into gas pipelines.

The gas is subsequently compressed at CNG Fuels’ own high-capacity refuelling stations in Leyland (Lancashire) and Crewe (Cheshire).

The biomethane is independently verified as renewable and sustainable, and approved under the Department for Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) scheme, according to CNG Fuels.

The gas qualifies under the initiative, generating Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs), as it originates from anaerobic digestion plants which are not supported by the Renewable Heat Incentive or other subsidy schemes.

CNG Fuels’ customers will be issued with documentation stating that they have purchased sustainable, renewable fuel, whilst setting out its carbon content.

CNG Fuels is developing a nationwide network of refuelling stations on major trunking routes fed by the high-pressure gas grid. Low processing, transportation and electricity charges make CNG a low-cost, clean solution, according to the company.

The Solihull-based company is also developing ‘daughter’ stations in customer depots within 100 miles of its ‘mother’ stations, and will deliver gas by trailer at a similar price per kilo. Including fuel duty, biomethane CNG retails at 65p/kg before VAT (the equivalent of 49p/litre for diesel), and prices are even lower for bulk purchases.

Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels, said: “Renewable and sustainably sourced biomethane is the most cost-effective and lowest-carbon alternative to diesel for HGVs, and is attracting increasing interest. We are expanding our refuelling infrastructure nationwide to help fleet operators save money, cut carbon and clean up our air.

“We are proud to be the first company in the UK to offer its customers RTFO-approved biomethane, and are pleased to be able to do so at the same price as fossil fuel gas.”

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