Ireland is two steps closer to decarbonizing the nation’s heavy vehicle transport sector, with the country’s third and fourth publicly-accessible, fast-fill CNG stations, now open at Circle K’s forecourt at Clonshaugh in Dublin and Ballysimon Road in Limerick City. Strategically located to support prominent hauler routes, the new facilities have the capacity to fill 50 HGVs a day, with each fill taking no more than five minutes.
“We are excited to unveil the latest CNG stations at Circle K Clonshaugh and Circle K Ballysimon Road, further strengthening our natural gas capabilities alongside our Dublin Port and Cashel stations. We have longstanding ties to the commercial transport and freight industry and a key priority of ours is supporting this sector as it endeavors to reduce its carbon emissions in addition to providing the other necessary goods and services,” said Jonathan Diver, Senior Director Fuels at Circle K.
Transport currently accounts for 42% of Ireland’s energy use, making it the country’s largest source of energy demand. In particular, HGVs and buses generate 30% of road transport emissions despite accounting for just 4% of vehicles on Irish roads. In this regard, proven global technologies, such as CNG and renewable gases, including biomethane and hydrogen, can all play a part in helping decarbonize Ireland’s transport sector.
Studies show that switching from diesel to natural gas can reduce well-to-wheel CO2 emissions by up to 23% compared to diesel (CENEX, 2019) and NOx by up to 50% (UK Department of Transport, 2018). Furthermore, as the volume of renewable gas on the network increases, vehicles refueling from the national gas network will increasingly reduce their carbon footprint without needing to change a thing.
Irish companies are now developing sustainable circular economies by purchasing renewable gas made from their own waste to power their operations and vehicles. Virginia International Logistics became the first hauler in Ireland to complete a zero-carbon HGV delivery to Europe, using a truck fueled by biomethane for the 1,000km round-trip to Caen in northern France. The opening of the new CNG station at Circle K Ballysimon Road will open another important transport corridor for their 25 CNG trucks.
A proven, reliable and affordable alternative to diesel, Ireland’s CNG vehicle numbers grew more than 50% in 2020, as the number in Europe passed two million and the number worldwide exceeded 28 million.
“Ireland’s commercial transport sector is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonize, but we’re on a journey with haulers and forecourt operators to reduce emissions through natural gas today and renewable gas down the road,” said Gas Networks Ireland’s Head of Commercial and Corporate Affairs, Ian O’Flynn. “CNG stations are directly connected to the national gas network and CNG vehicles are future-proofed for biomethane, which is already available in Ireland. By delivering a network of CNG stations, we are supporting haulers and fleet operators to make a sustainable switch to gas-powered vehicles.”
To help Ireland’s fleet operators and haulers transition to CNG, Gas Networks Ireland has a CNG Vehicle Grant Scheme which provides grants of up to €5,000 for new NGVs, up to maximum of €60,000 per business. The CNG Vehicle Grant Scheme is co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T Program under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) as part of the Green Connect Project.
Source: Gas Networks Ireland