Compressed Natural Gas station opens at Maghera
Cavan’s first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling station has opened at Maghera.
The initiative has been taken by Gas Networks Ireland and Virginia International Logistics in what's being described as another step forward in reducing emissions from Ireland’s transport industry - one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise.
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, up by almost a third compared to this time last year.
Headquartered in Co Cavan, Virginia International Logistics (VIL) first introduced BioCNG compatible vehicles to its fleet in 2018. They now make up almost a fifth of the company’s vehicles.
The firm employs more than 400 staff with over 130 trucks on the road.
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," she said.
Minister Humphreys said that she is "especially excited" that a Cavan grown, and now international transport business 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."
She said that BioCNG is key to driving sustainable supply chains and is the first step towards net-zero commercial transport in Ireland.
There are eight CNG refuelling station in operation nationwide, located in Cavan, Dublin, Limerick and Tipperary.
James Cole, responsible for BioCNG at Virginia International Logistics, said:
“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."
He said that companies opting to use VIL for their transport requirements will also have greener credentials.
"We can provide customers with route assessments and advise on the optimal route for emissions savings per pallet of goods moved or kilometre travelled,” said Mr Cole.
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.
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