Last year, the company began a trial to test the suitability of bio-LNG to replace diesel in its fleet of more than 1,000 trucks – initially running seven Volvo FH LNG 6x2 tractor units as part of its operations in Bristol and Magor.
The success of that trial has now seen the company make the next move, installing the station – owned and operated by supplier Gasrec – at its Cullompton depot, to fuel a further order of 13 Volvo FH LNGs.
“The transition to alternative fuels is a key part of our long-term strategy and this new facility is a continuation on that journey,” says Paul Jefferson, group legal, risk and sustainability director at Gregory Distribution. “We put our first LNG trucks on the road last September and the reduction in carbon emissions have been clear to see.
“The technology has come on leaps and bounds in the past 12 months and the feedback from the drivers on the Volvo trucks has been hugely positive. The one challenge we have faced with LNG has been the infrastructure; but now with the help of Gasrec, we are taking control of our destiny by getting this facility on our own site. It’s a major step forward.”
Bio-LNG-powered trucks can return CO2 savings as high as 95 per cent, plus deliver a 99% reduction in particulate matter and 90% in NO2 emissions compared to equivalent Euro VI diesel trucks. HGVs running on gas are also said to be around 50% quieter than their diesel equivalents.
Gregory Distribution predominantly uses its LNG fleet to deliver palletised goods, often double-shifted on long-haul journeys to maximise the environmental benefits.
“There is a growing expectation from our customers to support them in their sustainability strategy and objectives. Running our fleet on these more environmentally-friendly fuels is a key part of this,” adds Jefferson. “Right now, for our long-distance trunking work, Bio-LNG is the best option to help reduce our carbon footprint.”
Gasrec delivered the skid-mounted facility – used as a temporary solution for fleets exploring the option of Bio-LNG – straight from frozen food distribution business Reed Boardall, which has recently upgraded to a permanent on-site refuelling station.
Commenting on the infrastructure, James Westcott, chief commercial officer of Gasrec, explains: “We have installed a pumped mobile refuelling station which we use to seed new locations where we want to get Bio-LNG into an area quickly. The plan is to get a more permanent refuelling station at Cullompton, but the fast-moving nature of this industry requires a flexible approach.”