The UK’s leading industrial gases and clean energy company, BOC, is to invest in a further 10 dual-fuel heavy goods vehicles for its national delivery fleet.

In addition, the company will install a back-to-base Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) refuelling unit at its Middlesbrough site on Teesside to service the new vehicles.

The facility will also be made available for use by other companies operating dual-fuel vehicles, adding a critical new location to the UK’s network of LNG refuelling sites and helping stimulate further growth in low-carbon transportation.

Ian Jackson, BOC’s National Transport Manager, is looking forward to taking delivery of the new vehicles. “Our products are business-critical for many of our customers,” he noted. “That is why we had to rigorously test this technology before announcing this substantial investment for our fleet.”

“The fact that we have developed our own, highly efficient refuelling technologies to service these vehicles means that we can take maximum advantage of the benefits LNG can bring.”

BOC, a member of The Linde Group, has developed a highly-efficient ‘no-loss’ LNG system that uses cryogenic cooling to ‘temperature-condition’ the fuel before dispensing. This ensures that no fuel is lost to evaporation or venting during the refuelling process. Typically, 20% - and sometimes more - can be lost with conventional systems, so this represents a major cost (and also carbon) saving for users. Ease of use and safety of the new LNG system are both key - innovative features include gas-leak detection sensors linked to automatic shutdown protocols.

Mark Lowe, BOC Business Manager, is clear about the potential of LNG for transport systems. He said, “Currently, nearly all heavy road transport depends on diesel. LNG produces far fewer emissions than conventional fuels and can help fleet operators reduce their carbon footprint dramatically. At the same time, mile-for-mile, LNG is very competitive in terms of cost.”

BOC is working closely with partners to establish a viable market for LNG-fuelled commercial vehicles in the UK. It has recently entered into a project with the Stobart Group, part-funded by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to evaluate the vehicles and the refuelling technologies in the field.

The project will track the usage of LNG - which typically accounts for up to 60 per cent of total fuel consumption for a dual-fuel vehicle - as well as the reduction in CO2emissions, creating opportunities to improve sustainability in the logistics sector.

The UK’s first ADR-compliant dual-fuel vehicle specially engineered for transporting hazardous cargoes - a Mercedes Actros 2564 6x2 truck - was successfully trialled at BOC’s St Helens depot in 2012.