Gas Networks Ireland and Virginia International Logistics have taken another step forward in reducing emissions from Ireland’s transport industry – one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise – with the opening of Ireland’s eighth Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling station.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, James Cole, Director, Virginia Transport and Karen Doyle, Head of Business Development , Gas Networks Ireland.
Pic Orla Murray/Coalesce
CNG is natural gas that has been compressed to fit into a vehicle’s tank and is available for heavy goods and commercial vehicles, while BioCNG is its certified renewable gas equivalent.
Fuelling with CNG can reduce a heavy good vehicle’s (HGV) emissions by up to 22%, while BioCNG, which qualifies as a renewable fuel under the Irish Biofuel Obligation Scheme, can turn an HGV into a carbon neutral vehicle.
Demand for renewable gas in transport from Ireland’s road freight sector is continuing to show strong growth – in October, for the tenth month running, demand for this low carbon alternative to diesel saw another significant year-on-year increase, up 32% on the same month last year.
Headquartered in Co. Cavan, Virginia International Logistics (VIL) first introduced BioCNG compatible vehicles to its fleet in 2018, which they have continued to expand and now makes up almost a fifth of the company’s vehicles.
Working with Gas Networks Ireland, who installed and is operating the CNG equipment, the new station is located at VIL’s premises in Maghera, just outside Virginia.
Speaking as she officially opened the new CNG refuelling station in Virginia, Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD said: “Ireland faces a significant challenge to meet its emission reduction targets, particularly in the transport sector, as it currently accounts for 42% of Ireland’s energy use, making it the country’s largest source of energy demand.
This new CNG refuelling station allows hauliers and fleet operators in Cavan and the North-East region to begin the journey to sustainable transport and supply chains by switching their fuel from diesel.
I am especially excited that a Cavan grown, and now international transport business, employing more than 400 staff with over 130 trucks on the road, is to the fore in helping Ireland transition to a cleaner energy future by providing a low carbon fuel alternative to diesel.”
Gas Networks Ireland’s Head of Business Development, Karen Doyle said: “Ireland’s commercial transport fleet makes up just 3% of vehicles on the road nationwide yet is responsible for approximately 20% of transport’s carbon emissions. BioCNG is key to driving sustainable supply chains and is the first step towards net-zero commercial transport in Ireland.
We are committed to enabling sustainable energy services and are working towards transporting renewable gases at scale. We have partnered with some of the most prominent forecourt operators and haulage companies throughout Ireland to make the alternative fuel option of low carbon gas a reality for Irish transport.
We are delighted to see the country’s eight CNG refuelling station in operation. With the stations, strategically located in Cavan, Dublin, Limerick and Tipperary; we are providing new cleaner transport corridors for Irish freight operators.”
James Cole, responsible for BioCNG at Virginia International Logistics, said: “This is the latest low carbon milestone for us. Transport is changing and we are proud to be leading the way in moving Ireland to a cleaner energy future, particularly as we see increasing demand from customers for more decarbonised supply chain solutions. Being able to offer a lower-carbon transport solution is a strong differentiator for any business and it demonstrates a focus on sustainability when tendering for new business.
Thanks to having BioCNG compatible vehicles in our fleet, we are in a position where we can provide customers with route assessments and advise on the optimal route for emissions savings per pallet of goods moved or kilometre travelled.”
In 2019, VIL became the first haulier in Ireland to complete a zero-carbon HGV delivery to Europe, when they brought a consignment of beef from Cavan to Caen in Northern France.
The expansion of VIL’s BioCNG compatible fleet and the installation of the refuelling technology is supported by Gas Networks Ireland.
To learn more about the many benefits of CNG and BioCNG for fleet operators and hauliers and the future of renewable gas in transport, visit www.gasnetworks.ie/cng.