Biogas powers Ireland’s first carbon free truck delivering goods to Europe
Virginia International Logistics has become the first Irish hauler to complete a delivery to Europe with a zero carbon heavy goods vehicle (HGV). The truck was fueled by biomethane to transport freight to the continent. The first European load was a consignment of processed beef from Liffey Meats in Ballyjamesduff going to Caen in Northern France. The total round trip is 1,121 km.
The journey was powered using certified CNG purchased from biomethane producers in Europe and delivered to Virginia International Logistics through Gas Networks Ireland. There is however significant potential to produce indigenous renewable natural gas in Ireland at a lower cost. The Government’s Climate Action Plan commits to setting of a target by the end of this year for biomethane on the network by 2030.
Gas Networks Ireland has already successfully injected biomethane into the Irish network and a second gas injection facility is currently in the planning process in Co. Cork. This facility will produce biomethane for heating and transport, and support the country’s growing CNG fleet to switch renewable natural gas.
“Ireland’s transport emissions continue to rise; while this is the by-product of much welcomed economic and employment growth, as a country we face significant challenges to meet our emission reduction targets. We are leading the development of this new, cleaner transport network, to support Ireland in reducing its carbon emissions and to give Ireland’s fleet operators sustainable energy options,” said Ian O’Flynn, Head of Commercial and Corporate Affairs at Gas Networks Ireland.
Virginia International Logistics has been focused on reducing the emissions from their fleet since 2012, when they invested in dual fuel vehicles. Last year, they made the switch to CNG. By December of this year, they are aiming to have 30 low carbon CNG trucks on their fleet. All of these trucks can run on biomethane.
“This is the latest low carbon milestone for Virginia Transport. Transport is changing and we are proud to be leading the way in Ireland in moving to a cleaner energy future. We are proud to be able to deliver for Liffey Meats and other customers in the most sustainable way by offering zero carbon shipping, in Ireland, the UK and onto the continent,” commented Ray Cole, Transport Director, Virginia International Logistics.
The expansion of Virginia Transport fleet and the installation of the refueling technology is supported by Gas Networks Ireland, which is developing a network of 150 CNG stations in Ireland. The first public CNG fueling station in Circle K Dublin Port opened earlier this year. A further six public stations are in planning and development.