Operators using liquefied natural gas (LNG) can now reap the same CO2 savings as compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks running on biomethane, after a major move by Gasrec.

The gas firm is now offering LNG certified under the government’s Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO).

Gasrec said natural gas-powered trucks can typically see CO2 savings of around 15% for long-distance motorway work, 10% for regional missions and 5% for urban applications, versus an equivalent Euro-6 diesel.

But when fuelled with biomethane, CO2 reductions are as high as 80%–95%, depending on the duty cycle.

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Certification under the RTFO ensures fuel is from renewable sources and enables fleet operators to officially record their CO2 savings.

While the fuel that goes into the vehicle will not change, the certification ensures all gas sold is matched by biomethane, and that the same kilogram of biomethane is not being sold twice.

Previously, only CNG has been available under the RTFO.

James Westcott, chief commercial officer of Gasrec, said: “Until now, if you were a heavy truck operator and wanted to get the best carbon saving for your fleet, you needed to run a 40-tonne 4x2 tractor on grid-connected CNG and get biomethane credits.

“Now we can help firms unlock these same massive CO2 savings with LNG, enabling them to take full advantage of the new 44-tonne 6x2 gas tractors from IVECO and Volvo, which require LNG for maximum range.

He added: “We believe the opportunity to cut CO2 by 80% or more, in an industry targeted with reducing greenhouse gas emissions from HGVs by 15% by 2025, will hold serious sway with environmentally-conscious operators.”

Gasrec has secured biomethane-linked CO2 savings on an RTFO-certification basis for LNG arriving into the UK through National Grid on the Isle of Grain.

In the Autumn Budget 2018, the chancellor announced that the government will maintain the difference between gas and diesel duty rates until 2032 to support the de-carbonisation of the UK transport sector, subject to review in 2024.