Waitrose truck refuelling

‘Huge’ biomethane HGV refuelling station to be built in Kent

Image credit: CNG Fuels

The facility could be capable of refuelling more than 500 trucks per day, saving almost 60,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, the companies said.

The HGV refuelling station project is a collaboration between ReFuels and John Lewis Partnership (JLP), with a view towards decarbonising heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

Currently, HGVs account for 4.2 per cent of UK emissions. However, fuelling these vehicles with biomethane could cut their emissions by over 90 percent, and reduce costs by up to 40 per cent, the companies have said. 

The new station will built adjacent to Waitrose’s Southeast distribution centre, from where it will serve JLP HGVs as well as local and passing fleets. It will feature 12 fuel pumps capable of delivering 19 million kilograms (kg) of Bio-CNG annually.

As part of the agreement, JLP has pledged to ensure that all of its 520 heavy-duty trucks run on biomethane by 2028. Moreover, ReFuels has announced its plans to open 30 to 40 refuelling stations by 2026. 

Avonmouth station

Avonmouth station / CNG Fuels

Image credit: CNG Fuels

The news comes only a day after the UK government backed biomethane as a viable option for the decarbonisation of HGVs and other harder to decarbonise fleets which may be more challenging to electrify. 

“Bio-CNG is the only fuel available today that can decarbonise the UK’s HGV fleet at the scale and pace required to meet net zero," said Philip Fjeld, CEO of ReFuels.

"Well over one hundred fleets across the UK are now adopting the fuel en masse and our new site in Aylesford, built on land acquired from the John Lewis Partnership, is a testament to this growing demand and the value fleet operators place on the enabling refuelling infrastructure.”

Justin Laney, general manager at John Lewis Partnership, added: “John Lewis Partnership took delivery of its first dedicated CNG trucks in 2015 and now operates 400 CNG trucks, which is the largest biomethane-powered truck fleet in the UK.

"We are delighted that CNG Fuels has started construction of a high-capacity Bio-CNG station in Aylesford, where Waitrose has its southeast distribution centre.”

The station in Aylesford is a joint venture between CNG Fuels, the infrastructure arm of ReFuels, and Foresight Group, a sustainability-led investment management company.

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