The operator of the UK’s largest network of natural gas refuelling stations, Gasrec, is in discussions to build multiple new refuelling sites that could potentially see its footprint more than double by the end of 2019.
“We’re in advanced talks with a number of major fleets which have told us they wish to run gas-powered trucks – and we’re working with them to ensure they’ll have the right refuelling infrastructure in place,” said Rob Wood, Gasrec Chief Executive Officer. “Our network of open access and dedicated on-site CNG and LNG facilities will grow as gas vehicle sales increase. We project the UK will need as many as 190 sites operational within a decade to meet demand.”
Following recent product launched by ICEVO, Scania and Volvo, Gasrec si expecting the natural gas-powered HGV vehicle parc above 41-tonnes to reach 5,000 trucks in the UK by 2020 and 39,000 by 2027. The impact this change would have involves the saving of 858,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum, based on a vehicle averaging 160,000 km per year.
“The industry is preparing itself for significant take-up in demand as gas vehicles are moving into the mainstream – and now available across a wide power and duty range,” said James Westcott, Chief Commercial Officer at Gasrec. “Our message to larger fleets which may require their own refuelling stations is to remember it can take anywhere from three to 18 months to build an on-site facility, due to local planning requirements. We’re keen to work with more firms to develop on-site solutions, but it’s important to consult with a gas provider as early in the process as possible.”
Gasrec also pointed to the Department for Transport’s ‘The Road to Zero’ white paper, published this week, which acknowledged the potential for natural gas to replace diesel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“It was a positive message from Government and we’re confident of the Government’s continued support for gas HGV adoption. Research by Shell at the end of 2017 found that of those considering purchasing alternatively fuelled vehicles, the most popular option was gas – interesting seven in 10 buyers,” added Westcott.