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The City CNG Project

Northern Gas Networks and Leeds City Council are working together to create City CNG, the first compressed natural gas filling station in Leeds.

Thanks to an Ofgem Network Innovation Competition grant of £700,000, NGN will connect its 17-Bar high pressure pipeline to feed the station while the council will supply land for the site and convert over its refuse fleet to run on CNG.

NGN and the council wish to work in partnership with the private sector to build and run the station, helping to improve air quality in the city and reduce carbon emissions. Construction of the pipeline is expected to get begin in 2019.

Compared to diesel Euro 6 engines, CNG cuts harmful particulate matter by almost 100 per cent and nitrogen oxides by around 90 per cent. It also reduces carbon dioxide emissions by around a quarter.

While willing to invest in compressed natural gas filling stations, private companies are cautious due to the high cost of connecting to the gas mains unless there is an established market.

However, without a fuelling station, people and businesses who are keen to go green are unwilling to invest in vehicles that run on compressed natural gas. The funding awarded under the NIC will allow for this chicken and egg situation to be tackled.

The council has already agreed to convert its refuse collection fleet to run on compressed natural gas with an investment of £1.58 million over five years to demonstrate to investors that there is a clear, ready-made client and prove the business case.

Richard Hynes-Cooper, Head of Innovation at NGN said: “We believe that this project will offer significant benefits to the Leeds region. There is potential to open the fuelling station to any ‘back to depot’ vehicle including buses, taxis and commercial fleet, including our own vans. In fact, we’re currently trialling vans powered by natural gas in our fleet.”

Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Councillor Richard Lewis said: “If we want a cleaner, greener, healthier city we need to create the conditions that will deliver a more sustainable future.

“There’s still a long way to go but the funding is a clear signal that our plans, for what could be the UK’s biggest compressed natural gas station, have merit.

“Investing in the conversion of our fleet of 70 bin lorries is just the start. If our long-term plans come to fruition, haulage firms, bus and coach companies and fleets of vans could make the switch too with a ready-made fuelling station and proven business case, making vast improvements to air quality and the environment.”

Converting the council’s refuse collection vehicles to run on compressed natural gas will make a significant dent in the council’s emissions.

Five bin wagons already run on liquefied natural gas which has cut harmful emissions and offer better fuel economy.

For more information on the City CNG project visit our dedicated site at CityCNG.