Nicholls Transport opens on-site LNG refuelling facility09 January 2020

Sittingbourne-based Nicholls Transport has opened a refuelling station for pumped liquefied natural gas (LNG) at its Kent base, which will be used to support an initial order for 10 IVECO Stralis NP 460 6x2 tractor units.

Installed in partnership with Gasrec, the LNG refuelling station is the first of its type in Kent. Nicholls Transport is making the site available to other operators by arrangement.

James Westcott, chief commercial officer of Gasrec, says: “We have installed a pumped mobile refuelling station, which we use to seed new locations where we want to get LNG into an area quickly.

“It’s ideal for an early adopter like Nicholls, being capable of supporting as many as 30 gas vehicles from a single location. This is the precursor to a larger and fully open-access development we are looking at for the Nicholls site.”

The 10 IVECO Stralis NP trucks are being supplied by dealer Haynes Trucks. The vehicles are powered by the Cursor 13 NP engine, which delivers up to 454bhp, and feature the latest generation Hi-Tronix transmission, said to reduce gear shifting times by 10%.

Commenting on the installation, Paul Nicholls, managing director of Nicholls Transport, says: “Moving to alternative fuels has been high on our agenda – but gas is currently the only technology that’s ready for 44-tonne operation. Gasrec has been hugely proactive and gave us the confidence to switch fuels, following experiences with demonstrators organised through IVECO and Haynes.”

He adds: “Margins are tight in haulage so you need to consider every possible angle to make a return as soon as possible. When we looked at total cost of ownership, the arguments in favour of LNG stacked up well.”

Nicholls Transport operates a 100% IVECO fleet of more than 100 vehicles.

Laura Cork

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