Northern Ireland-based refrigerated haulage business McCulla Ireland has secured a £3.1m investment from asset finance provider Lombard for 25 new trucks, including 11 powered by biogas. 

The move will contribute to a 79% reduction in the firm’s operational carbon emissions.

A second-generation, family-owned business with facilities in Lisburn, Dublin and Mallusk, McCulla Ireland provides ambient, chilled and frozen logistics and storage solutions.

Around 85% of McCulla’s Northern Ireland fleet is now powered by biogas produced by an anaerobic digester plant located at its Lisburn site. The vehicles emit 93% less carbon than their diesel-run counterparts. 

Journeys taken by McCulla Ireland’s existing biogas-run fleet covered 2.4 million km in 2023 and over 1 million km to date in 2024, equivalent to a saving of 2.6 million kg of CO2. The company is now exploring the use of biogas in its fleets at its other depots.

Michael Gray, finance director at McCulla Ireland said: “For many years we have been on a mission to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in our transport fleet, and these new biogas-run vehicles represent our latest step in completing that mission.

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“Lombard has been a huge support to us throughout  process, with its particular expertise and presence within the Northern Ireland haulage sector allowing us to work collaboratively to find the best solution for our business. We look forward to continuing to work with Lombard to find new ways to make our operations more sustainable.”

Declan Napier, relationship director – Northern Ireland at Lombard, said: “McCulla Ireland is leading the way for sustainability in the haulage sector – the company has adopted a truly a full circle approach to its energy production and consumption, allowing it to reduce waste to an absolute minimum right across its supply chain. We are very pleased to support McCulla Ireland in its exemplary work, which I’m certain will inspire others in the haulage sector.”

Alternity Biogas Energy, the sister company of McCulla Ireland and part of the McCulla Group, processes food waste that is received from its customers through its anaerobic digester plant. The £5m plant and biofuel upgrading and compression facility has been integral to McCulla’s drive to improve the sustainability of its operations.

McCulla is the only company in the UK and Ireland operating Bio-CNG trucks using gas produced from food waste, and producing electricity via a controlled heat and power (CHP) unit to power its own carbon neutral coldstore. Its anaerobic digester plant also produces bio-fertiliser, which is supplied to local farms in a circular economy.