Online supermarket firm Ocado Group has put its foot on the gas to a cleaner and greener future with a new compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling site.
The move underpins its transition to using alternative fuels and they have signed a deal to open another natural gas refuelling station at its Dordon Customer Fulfilment Centre.
This comes after the online supermarket became the first UK retailer to self-fund the purchase of an onsite grid-connected gas refuelling station at its depot in Hatfield in January 2019.
The new facility at Dordon is due to open next year and will again be designed and built by Gasrec – the UK’s largest supplier of gas to the road transport sector.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) tractor units
The refuelling site will be used to fuel 10 compressed natural gas tractor units that run from the site.
In addition, the new site will allow for the remaining Dordon tractor fleet – which is 70 in number – to transition from diesel to blended biomethane.
Graham Thomas, Ocado’s fleet operations manager, said: “The results we have seen since beginning our switch to gas have been fantastic and show that we are on the right path to a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly future.
“This new facility at Dordon will allow us to get more gas trucks on the road and access delivery routes further up the country with our CNG fleet.”
10-year supply agreement with Gasrec
The facility at Dordon will be a tanker-fed operation with Ocado signing a 10-year supply agreement with Gasrec.
And with 60 natural gas-powered trucks operating from Hatfield and Dordon, this latest development will allow Ocado to more than double its total CNG units over the next three years, with more than two-thirds of its total fleet running on natural gas.
Mr Thomas added: “We are committed to transitioning away from diesel and the performance of the Iveco gas trucks we have in service, as well as the resilience of the facilities and support Gasrec has provided for us so far, has only strengthened our conviction.”
The environmental benefits of switching to natural gas include 99% fewer particulate emissions and 70% less nitrogen oxide than the latest diesel standard.
Natural gas-powered vehicles are also, on average, 10db quieter than diesel vehicles which significantly reduces their impact in residential areas.
Biomethane blend significantly reduces CO2 output
Gasrec currently supplies a minimum 50% biomethane blend to Ocado meaning significant reductions in CO2 output – up to 68% across the fleet calculated from the total amount of biomethane used.
In future, the mix of biomethane is being increased, making further inroads to cleaner transport.
Gasrec’s chief commercial officer, James Westcott, said: “Ocado Group continues to take great strides in reducing the carbon footprint of its transport operation.
“We have built a fantastic working relationship with them over the past few years and are delighted they have chosen us again to build and deliver the new refuelling site in Dordon.”