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Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has secured a £770,000 Network Innovation Competition funding grant from Ofgem for essential work to link Bradford’s Alternative Fuel Centre to the gas network.

The move brings the development of a compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station on Bowling Back Lane a step closer, by linking it into the local gas transmission system operated by Northern Gas Networks.

Compressed natural gas is a cleaner and quieter alternative to traditional transport fuels, which will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as the UK tackles decarbonisation.

The plans will see the Household Waste Recycling Centre on Bowling Back Lane redeveloped by 2021 to provide the facility for the Council and other local business fleets including NGN.

As well as helping achieve the Council’s climate change targets, the use of alternative fuels would also provide a cost saving both for the Local Authority and other businesses taking advantage of the site.

Richard Hynes-Cooper, Head of Innovation for Northern Gas Networks said: “Transport is a key piece of the decarbonisation jigsaw. Alternative fuels like CNG allow us to take a step towards moving large fleets, such as our own, towards a cleaner and greener future.

‘We’re delighted to be working with Bradford Council on such a significant project for the city and the region.”

Ofgem’s Gas Network Innovation Competition is an annual opportunity for gas network companies to compete for a pot of £20 million funding, for the development and demonstration of new technologies.

Funding is provided for the best innovation projects helping networks understand how they can deliver environmental benefits, reduced costs and maintained security of energy supply for customers, as the UK moves to a low carbon economy.

Project funding was secured in 2015, and the Bradford CNG opportunity was identified when a suitable site for a filling station in Leeds could not be secured.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for Healthy People and Healthy Places, said:

“The Alternative Fuel Centre is an important part of our plans to reduce air pollution and reduce our carbon footprint. This grant takes us a step closer and we thankful for the work NGN have been doing to help get us to this point. We look forward to continuing to work with them to complete this project.”

The Council plans to replace 77 HGVs with compressed gas variants over the next seven years including 22 in the financial year 2021/22. These would include refuse collection vehicles, articulated lorries, tankers and hook-loaders.

On average, each HGV currently consume 14,000 litres of diesel per annum and, by switching fuels, the project will achieve greenhouse gas reductions of 85% for each.

It is estimated that this will reduce the Council’s fleet greenhouse gas emissions by almost 12,400 tonnes over the next seven years.

Grants for local businesses to upgrade vehicles to meet Clean Air Zone (CAZ) standards, including compressed gas vehicles, are proposed to be available until the end of 2021 as part of the Bradford Clean Air Plan.

NGN has committed 15 fleet vehicles to use the site.

Compressed natural gas and biomethane will remain a cost-effective alternative to diesel for hauliers into the next decade – the Treasury has fixed the fuel duty for natural gas/biomethane for vehicle use at 24.7p/kg until 2032.

NGN notes to editors

  1. Since we started operating in 2005, we’ve been leading the way as one of the most cost-efficient of the UK’s eight gas distribution networks. We deliver great value for money to our customers, as well as a whole host of social and economic benefits to our region. We’re recognised as a dynamic, passionate, conscious and people focused team that safely and reliably delivers gas to over 2.7 million homes and businesses across the North East, northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire.
  2. Although we don’t source the gas, fix boilers and appliances, or get involved with plumbing, we work with those that do to deliver it through a vast network of underground pipes that are constantly being invested in and upgraded. It’s more complicated than it sounds so we’re always exploring cutting-edge thinking, revolutionary engineering practices and world-class science to find new ways to provide sustainable sources of energy. And while our customers may not see us very often, they can sleep soundly knowing that we’re working around the clock to keep them connected and make sure they stay safe. For more information visit the Northern Gas Networks website. Alternatively, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

You can contact Northern Gas Network’s press office on: 0113 322 7950 during office hours (between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays) or call the out of hours service on 0113 322 7978 at any other time.