Online supermarket Ocado has opened its first natural gas refuelling station at its Hatfield Customer Fulfilment Centre in Hertfordshire, England.
The new refuelling station was designed and built by Gasrec, a major fuel provider for natural gas-powered commercial vehicles on UK roads, and the businesses have agreed a 10-year support and maintenance contract.
The supermarket chain is the first UK retailer to self-fund the purchase of an onsite grid connected station outright.
The new site launched with 29 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) powered by blended biomethane, a compressed natural gas (CNG). The company’s biomethane vehicles now represent 20% of the supermarket’s HGV fleet.
The new additions are set to reduce the Ocado HGV fleet CO2 emissions by 29% annually.
“By investing in gas-powered vehicles, and in our first onsite refuelling station, we’re future-proofing our fleet and our business,” said Graham Thomas, Fleet Service Manager at Ocado.
“Emissions from CNG are clearer than Euro VI standards which start to take effect with the London Low Emissions Zone from April and will soon be followed by an environmentally-responsible supermarket,” Thomas continued.
“The exiting work we’re doing with alternative fuels plays a huge part in becoming even more carbon efficient, helping us get closer to our goal of being the UK’s most environmentally-responsible supermarket,” said Suzanne Westlake, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Ocado.
Biogas is burgeoning, globally. Its use is rapidly growing around the world and especially in Europe and a particular strand of this movement, biomethane, appears to be of growing interest to the industrial gas community.
In July last year, Air Liquide opened its first biomethane production plant in the US after the Tier One company announced it was doubling its biomethane production capacity back in April.