Gas Networks Ireland and Applegreen to open Compressed Natural Gas refuelling stations in Portlaoise and Tipperary

Gas Networks Ireland has entered into an agreement with Applegreen to develop two publicly-accessible, fast-fill Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations in Portlaoise and in Tipperary. The two stations will be strategically located along the M7 motorway, accessible from both directions of travel, with one at Applegreen’s forecourt in Midway, Portlaoise at exit 17 and the other located at junction 27 at Applegreen’s premises in Birdhill, Co. Tipperary, with other sites currently under discussion.

Part of the Causeway Project, this investment worth over €2m, will allow businesses to reduce transport costs and emissions. Construction on the project will get underway this summer with both stations expected to be in operation by the end of 2020.

Gas Networks Ireland, is leading the delivery of the Causeway Project.  This project is supported by a grant from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility Transport Fund and the Gas Innovation Fund, approved by the CRU.  Research is being co-funded and conducted by our project partner, the National University of Ireland Galway.

CNG is a proven alternative to diesel or petrol which reduces transport costs by up to 25% and reduces carbon emissions. CNG is natural gas which has been compressed to fit into a Natural Gas Vehicle’s (NGV) tank and is particularly suitable for use in commercial vehicles. There are an estimated 25 million NGVs in operation worldwide, and almost two million in Europe. In the future, these vehicles can achieve zero carbon transport when operating on renewable gas.

While Heavy Good Vehicles (HGV) and buses account for only 4% of vehicles on Ireland’s roads, they account for 30% of all emissions in the road transport sector. CNG for transport is one of the key gas technologies set out in Gas Networks Ireland’s Vision 2050 published last year which outlines how it can reduce Ireland’s total carbon emissions by one third and create a net zero carbon gas network.

Additionally, Gas Networks Ireland has already successfully injected renewable gas onto the Irish network and a second gas injection facility is currently in the planning process in Co. Cork.    These facilities will supply renewable gas for Ireland’s growing CNG fleet to switch to BioCNG - a carbon neutral renewable gas for transport. 

Declan O’Sullivan, Programme Delivery Manager with Gas Networks Ireland said; “Working with Applegreen to deliver two more publicly accessible CNG refuelling stations is another milestone in our efforts to develop a clean fuel option for Ireland’s commercial fleet transport sector. With the first public CNG station in Dublin Port operational, the second public CNG station constructed and another seven public CNG stations currently being developed, Ireland’s HGV and bus operators can now choose a cleaner fuel alternative. 

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 emissions reduction targets. As the operator of Ireland’s gas network, we are leading the development of this new, cleaner transport network, to support Ireland in reducing its carbon emissions.

Working with partners like Applegreen, private hauliers and public transport companies, work is well underway to deliver a comprehensive national network of stations.”

Dáire Nolan, Managing Director for Applegreen Ireland added; “We are delighted to announce the development of two publicly-accessible, fast-fill CNG stations through our partnership with Gas Networks Ireland. We are very proud to offer Ireland’s commercial fleet operators a cleaner and more cost-effective fuel alternative.”

More on Gas Networks Ireland’s Vision 2050 can be found on: www.gasnetworks.ie/vision2050

Ends

Notes to Editor:

Media queries:
Marie Sheehan
PR Manager Gas Networks Ireland
087 754 8968
Marie.Sheehan@gasnetworks.ie

 

About Gas Networks Ireland
Gas Networks Ireland is the business division of Ervia that owns, builds and maintains the natural gas network in Ireland and connects all customers to the gas network. Gas Networks Ireland operates one of the most modern and safe gas networks in the world and ensures that 700,000 homes and businesses receive a safe, efficient and secure supply of natural gas, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Ervia is a commercial semi-state multi-utility company with responsibility for the delivery of gas and water infrastructure and services in Ireland.

About Applegreen
Established in 1992, Applegreen is a convenience food and beverage retailer and operator of petrol forecourts and motorway service areas with a major presence in the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the USA. The Group is focused on acquiring and developing new Service Area and Petrol Filling Station sites in each of the three markets in which it operates. As at 30 June 2019, the business operated 483 forecourt sites and employed c11,000 people.

The Group offers a distinctive convenience retail offering with three key elements:

  • A “low fuel prices, always” price promise to drive footfall to the stores;
  • A “Better Value Always” tailored retail offer; and
  • A strong food and beverage focus aiming to offer premium products and service to the customer.

In addition to its own proprietary Bakewell brand, the Group enjoys established partnerships with a portfolio of high quality international brands. Following the Welcome Break acquisition, new brand partners include Starbucks, Waitrose, WH Smith, KFC, Pizza Express, Harry Ramsden and the Ramada and Days Inn hotel brands. These are in addition to existing brands including Burger King, Subway, Costa Coffee, Greggs, Lavazza, Chopstix, Freshii and 7-Eleven, some of which also have an existing presence on the Welcome Break network.

Applegreen is the number one Motorway Service Area operator in the Republic of Ireland and the number two Motorway Service Area operator in the United Kingdom.

Applegreen prides itself on its Charitable Fund, which was set up in 2009.  Every time a customer stops and shops in-store, the company donates 1c to the Applegreen Charitable Fund.

https://www.applegreen.ie


About Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
CNG is natural gas which has been compressed to fit into a Natural Gas Vehicle’s (NGV) tank and is particularly suitable for use in commercial vehicles. It is a proven alternative to diesel or petrol which reduces transport costs by up to 25% and also reduces carbon emissions. There are an estimated 25 million NGVs in operation worldwide, and almost two million in Europe.

CNG is the ideal fuel for decarbonising large Ireland’s HGV and Bus fleet which makes up just 4% of vehicles on the road, yet is responsible for approximately 30% of transport’s emissions.  Switching to CNG can reduce a Heavy Goods Vehicle’s (HGV), emissions by up to 22%.  In the future, these vehicles can achieve zero carbon transport when operating on renewable gas.

In addition to CNG, the use of BioCNG in the same vehicle results in ultralow or zero carbon transport. Renewable Gas can be produced indigenously or can be imported through GNI’s interconnectors, however in order for the wide range of economic and social benefits of BioCNG to be maximised, it is important that the production of bio-methane is supported in Ireland.

In August 2019 Gas Networks Ireland launched Ireland’s first publicly-accessible, fast-fill CNG station at the Dublin Port.


¹ Compared to diesel, CNG delivers the following emissions savings:

 

Comparison

 

% Reductions

 

Emissions reduction

 

Up to 22% reduction on diesel

 

Nitrous oxide (NOx)

 

70% reduction in emissions

 

Sulphur dioxide (SOx)

 

80% reduction in emissions

 

Particulate matter

 

99% reduction in emissions

About The Causeway Project
The Causeway Project will see the formation of an initial national refuelling network together with Biogas injection and the deployment of seed CNG vehicles. The delivery of 14 fast fill CNG stations will represent the first significant deployment of CNG refuelling infrastructure in Ireland. The provision of a Biogas injection facility will play a significant role in delivering sustainable renewable gas to Irish gas customers in support of a sustainable indigenous energy source.

In addition to the development of the CNG Network and Biogas injection facility, the Causeway Project has a significant research component.  This element will identify key data relating to the roll out of a CNG network in a small, relatively discrete, market.  The data gathered from this study will assist in the further roll out of sustainable transport networks throughout the EU. 

Gas Networks Ireland, is leading the delivery of the Causeway Project.  This project is supported by a grant from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility Transport Fund and the Gas Innovation Fund, approved by the CRU.  Research is being co-funded and conducted by our project partner, the National University of Ireland Galway.