FTA Ireland (FTAI), the leading body representing the country’s logistics industry, is calling on the Minister of Communications, Climate Action & Environment to prioritise the opening of the country’s compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling sites, if the sector is to be able to achieve its emissions reduction targets by 2025.
In its CNG Now! Paper, recently published, FTAI’s Alternative Technologies Working Group has challenged the Irish government to prioritise urgent support and infrastructure for the freight and logistics sector, so that new cleaner fuel technologies can be adopted nationwide and climate and air quality targets achieved.
“Without sufficient CNG refuelling sites across the country, the logistics sector is simply marking time, rather than achieving the switch to CNG and other alternative fuels which will reduce emissions levels and improve air quality,” says Aidan Flynn, General Manager for FTAI. Without these sites, the campaign by the government to drive operators to the purchase of new CNG vehicles has been nothing more than a costly PR exercise, for which logistics businesses have taken a serious financial hit.
The Causeway project, announced in 2016, was established to form a CNG refuelling network for CNG vehicles nationwide, which was expected to deliver 14 fast fill stations, yet as Mr Flynn continues, to date no stations have been opened.
According to the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure for Transport in Ireland 2017 -2030 it is expected that there will be 19 refuelling sites for compressed natural gas (CNG) in operation by 2020 (currently there is one built and none open). It is essential to build industry trust that new alternative fuels are sustainable and viable options for industry.
Burning natural gas, compared to diesel, results in an approximate 22% climate benefit at combustion due to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Industry will adapt to new technologies if there is business need, it is viable and can deliver to suit the company’s needs.