Gasrec has bought five Bio-LNG refuelling stations and four cryogenic trailers from BOC following the gas firm’s decision to withdraw from the UK LNG market.

Gasrec said the stations, one of which is in Motherwell and another in Carlisle, will now undergo refurbishment and upgrade work before they become fully operational.

However, one haulier relying on LNG for its fleet vehicles has questioned how long the process will take and the “massive amount of downtime” for its trucks.

BOC declined to comment on its decision to stop supplying LNG, but Gasrec said its investment in the equipment reinforced its long-term commitment to helping operators transition to cleaner fuel.

It also said it had experienced “a huge spike in demand” for LNG from operators over the past two years.

James Westcott, Gasrec chief commercial officer, said: “Bio-LNG is proven to be the most environmentally-friendly fuel currently on the market for long-haul operations and will continue to be so for some time to come.

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“We are focused on ensuring the infrastructure and supply line is there for every operator in the country which wants to make the move to Bio-LNG, and this latest and significant investment will help us to press ahead with those plans at pace.”

Gasrec added that the four tri-axle trailers it purchased will join its three existing trailers and will be operated by its partner Reynolds Logistics to replenish refuelling stations across the UK.

“The additional refuelling facilities are the perfect size for helping operators begin the transition to Bio-LNG, ahead of more permanent infrastructure being built,” added Westcott.

“Not all of them had been deployed, so they give us immediate capacity to help new fleets – plus we are talking to several existing facility users about taking over their future Bio-LNG supply.”

It hopes to have all in operation by Q4 2021.

But Robert Gilmour, transport manager at Lesmahagow-based GBT Group, said Gasrec’s acquisition didn’t solve its current problems: “It’s not great,” he said. “We have three [LNG trucks] parked up and I have no idea what I’m going to do with them.

“They’ll need to change the pumping system and it will take a lot longer than everyone is expecting, which is not handy for us.”