In March 2016, CNG Fuels, in partnership with UK gas distribution network Cadent, unveiled a state-of-the-art filling station in Leyland, Lancashire.
The station enabled vehicles to fill up with compressed natural gas directly from the high-pressure local transmission network.
The facility was the first of its kind in the UK and is capable of refuelling more than 500 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) every day. Located near junction 28 of the M6, the CNG filling station is accessible all day every day, 365 days of the year. The facility also supplies 100 per cent renewable biomethane (Bio-CNG) and is an important part of the UK’s rapidly growing CNG refuelling infrastructure.
The biomethane is made from waste at anaerobic digestion plants, and delivering the filling station through the gas pipeline system.
Supermarket giant Waitrose has a regional distribution centre less than a mile from the new CNG filling station, and will be the station’s anchor customer. It introduced 10 CNG trucks, with a range of up to 500 miles, on to UK roads at the start of 2017. The 10 Scania-manufactured trucks began operation in January, delivering to company stores in the Midlands and across the North. They are the first in Europe to use twin 26-inch diameter carbon fibre fuel tanks, which store gas at 250 bar of pressure, to increase range from around 300 miles, to as much as 500. Each lorry should save around 100 tonnes of CO2 every year, compared to a diesel truck.
The John Lewis Partnership is committed to a sustainable logistics operation and the use of low carbon fuels in the vehicle fleet is a key element of that promise. Ultimately, the Partnership believes the station is a key element to ensuring its fleet can improve its sustainability.
Each new CNG truck costs 50% more than a diesel counterpart but is predicted to recoup the extra cost in two to three years, with fuel savings of around £15,000 to £20,000 a year depending on mileage. In an expected lifetime of around seven years, the trucks are likely to save around £75,000 to £100,000 when compared to a diesel equivalent.