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Gas Networks Ireland and Clean Ireland Recycling open nation’s first CNG station

Gas Networks Ireland and Clean Ireland Recycling have officially opened the first private fast-fill CNG station at the Clean Ireland Recycling premises in Smithstown Industrial Estate, Shannon, Co. Clare. The Shannon site is part of Gas Networks Ireland’s strategy to further develop a market for natural gas as a lower-emission transport fuel. Gas Networks Ireland is developing a comprehensive national CNG station network that will provide nationwide coverage for vehicles operating on Irish roads

Clean Ireland Recycling has become the first waste management company to operate CNG fuelled trucks (photo courtesy Gas Networks Ireland).

Alternative transport fuel will see Clean Ireland Recycling in Ireland become the first waste management company to operate compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelled trucks. A CNG compressor and private refuelling station have been installed at Clean Ireland Recycling’s Shannon operation, and the company, a leader in environmentally-friendly waste management services since its establishment in the early 1990s, has also received delivery of dedicated CNG waste collection vehicles, the first of their kind in Ireland.

We are delighted to open the first private fast-fill CNG station here today at Clean Ireland Recycling. Waste collection vehicles are notoriously energy intensive and Clean Ireland Recycling are proving their innovation and sustainability credentials by adopting CNG technology, and deploying the first CNG waste collection vehicles in Ireland. CNG, and in the near future Renewable gas, will play a major role in making transport in Ireland cleaner. Gas Networks Ireland is determined to play our role in facilitating the development of a new, cleaner transport network for Ireland, said Denis O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Gas Networks Ireland.

The specially-commissioned, lower-emission Scania CNG trucks will replace some of Clean Ireland Recycling’s diesel-powered fleet, with the rest of the fleet also transitioning to CNG in the coming years.

According to Gas Networks Ireland, CNG is a proven alternative to diesel or petrol and provides the greatest cost saving (35 percent) and emission reduction benefits: up to 22 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2), 70 percent less nitrogen oxide (NOx), 80 percent less sulphur dioxide (SOx), and 99 percent less particulate matter (PM) for transport operators.

Transport is a critical part of our economy. It is also a significant driver of Ireland’s emissions profile. Currently, commercial and public transport vehicles using diesel account for 3 percent of the vehicles on Irish roads but account for over 20 percent of the total road transport emissions. Businesses like Clean Ireland Recycling show that there is an appetite to change to the cleaner and more cost-effective alternative offered by Compressed Natural Gas. This is a welcome step and marks a progressive development for Ireland’s commercial fleet sector. Today’s announcement is the first of many in the coming months from Gas Networks Ireland, as they introduce CNG, and ultimately Renewable Gas, as a new transport fuel in Ireland, said Denis Naughten T.D., Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment:

Rolling out infrastructure and conversion incentives

In 2017, Gas Networks Ireland launched its Compressed Natural Gas Vehicle Fund making up to EUR 20 000 available to businesses towards the purchase of a new Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV). The Vehicle Fund has made a total of EUR 700 000 of funding available to transport operators, supporting the purchase of a range of commercial vehicles including trucks, buses, and vans powered by CNG, and is part of a process to promote natural gas as a transport fuel in Ireland.

The Vehicle Fund is supported by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) and is co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T Programme under the Connecting Europe Facility as part of the Causeway Project. The Compressed Natural Gas Vehicle Fund is part of an overall strategy to provide commercial vehicle operators with a viable alternative to traditional fuels, both in Ireland and across Europe.

The comprehensive national CNG refuelling network which will be rolled out by Gas Networks Ireland this year will provide coverage for a new generation of CNG vehicles operating on Irish roads, and will complement the pan European CNG network, which is currently under development.

Transitioning our waste collection fleet to CNG will achieve a reduction of up to 22 percent in CO2 emissions and a 99 percent reduction in particular matter. Not only does this make sense environmentally, CNG can achieve fuel cost savings of up to 35 percent, so the decision to adopt the technology is the smart choice. Customers are becoming more focused on the sustainability of their supply chain and, if we are asking them to adopt environmentally-friendly waste management initiatives, we need to practice what we preach. We are delighted to be the first to adopt this offering nationally and it’s a move that I believe should be replicated across the country. Clean Ireland Recycling already provides a ‘zero – landfill’ waste service to our customers. I believe we are getting close to a situation where environmental policy will play a key role in public sector tender processes. It is already a consideration for some private sector businesses. The decision we have made to invest in a CNG fleet is not just environmentally smart, it makes sense in pounds, shillings and pence, said Brian Lyons, Director, Clean Ireland Recycling.

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