AN INCREASE in demand for low carbon and low cost alternatives to diesel for HGVs has seen Europe’s biggest bio-refuelling station open in Warrington.

Demand for renewable biomethane compressed natural gas has soared 800 per cent since 2017 and is set to more than double this year.

CNG Fuels has opened the station at Omega and is also planning to open an additional six to eight stations over the next 12 months as it expands its strategic network of HGV refuelling stations in line with burgeoning demand.

CNG Fuels has helped haulers save 55,000 tonnes of CO2 since it began supplying renewable and sustainable Bio-CNG in 2017.

The station in Great Sankey can refuel 800 HGVs daily and serve 12 vehicles simultaneously.

The John Lewis Partnership has already committed to phasing out all diesel-powered heavy trucks from its fleet and replacing them with more than 500 new vehicles running on biomethane by 2028.

Parcel company Hermes is also replacing its 200-strong fleet of diesel trucks, using its Warrington hub as a springboard. Other major customers adopting biomethane include Home Bargains, ASDA, Royal Mail, DHL and Cadent.

Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels, said: “We’re at a tipping point. Fleet operators are waking up to the urgency and scale of decarbonisation necessary for net-zero emissions by 2050 and we’re seeing demand for our fuel increase rapidly as a result.

“Our customers ordered hundreds of biomethane fuelled trucks in 2019 and that trend is only set to accelerate over the next decade.

“We’re making the transition to carbon neutrality easier for fleet operators by developing a nationwide network of public access biomethane stations on major trucking routes and at key logistics hubs.”

Mervyn McIntyre, head of network fleet compliance at Hermes, added: “We’re delighted in the choice of Warrington as a location for a station, which will improve the efficiency of our network and allow us to run additional routes using biomethane-fuelled vehicles.”