The UK's first open access Bio-LNG filling station was opened today by Transport Minister Norman Baker.
The facility in Daventry, built by Gasrec, is the first of its kind and it is hoped it will lead to significant cuts in pollution and fuel costs; allow gas-powered or dual-fuel trucks to use Bio-LNG; and will operate in a similar way to a traditional petrol station.
Bio-LNG is Gasrec's blend of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquid biomethane (LBM) – a green source of renewable energy produced from organic matter such as household food waste. Gasrec is Europe's largest producer of this fuel.
Daventry is the first site identified by Gasrec as part of its national Bio-LNG refuelling network planned to be up and running by the end of 2015, which has the ultimate goal of wiping out nearly two-thirds of the nation's heavy goods vehicle (HGV) emissions.
Baker said: "The innovation shown by Gasrec and its partners in projects like this can help the UK meet its ambitious carbon reduction targets while creating green jobs to build the economy.
"This announcement represents a significant step towards achieving carbon and air quality benefits and I am very pleased that demonstration fleets from the Government's Low Carbon Truck Demonstration Trial will be refuelling from this site."
The firm claims that compared with pure diesel equivalents, Bio-LNG can cut fuel costs by 20 to 30 per cent and CO2 by a minimum of 20 per cent, while delivering a 90 per cent reduction in NOx and particulate matter emissions.
Running the UK's HGV fleets on Bio-LNG could cut haulage emissions by up to 65 per cent, according to a report by consultants Ricardo-AEA.
Gasrec commercial development manager, Doug Leaf said: "The launch today is a very proud moment for everybody at Gasrec. It clearly shows how our technology, innovation and ambition are leading the way to shrink pollution and costs for the UK's HGV haulage fleet.
"It is a pleasure to see our service not only saving customers significant sums of money but also helping them to play their part in protecting the environment. Big haulage companies are working and investing with us because they understand this intrinsic value.
"This is the important first step of a journey which we have high hopes will be a national success story."
The firms planned network of stations will be located near motorway junctions so that 85 per cent of the UK's HGV population will have at least one location within four hours' drive and the entire system will be monitored from a control centre in Daventry.
The Daventry site is capable of fuelling up to 250 HGVs a day in the first phase from three Bio-LNG dispensers.
Eventually each station will store enough fuel to fill 700 HGVs a day and will be equipped with five refuelling lanes and ten dispensers using “fast-fill” technology accessed by drivers carrying smart key controls.
Fuel is stored at -160 degrees Centigrade and is pumped through vacuum-insulated pipework all the way to the dispenser nozzles.
Gasrec's liquefied biomethane production plant in Albury, Surrey, is capable of producing more than six million litres of diesel equivalent a year.
The plant is located next to a large municipal landfill site and the gases from the decomposition of organic waste are cleaned and liquefied. The fuel produced is guaranteed to be at least 96 per cent biomethane and no more than four per cent nitrogen.