BOC, the UK’s largest supplier of compressed and liquefied gases, has launched a national liquefied natural gas (LNG) business.
This cryogenic liquid is fast becoming the low-carbon fuel of choice for large commercial vehicles but until now the growth of the market has been constrained by the lack of both sufficient refuelling facilities and reliable supplies of LNG. The arrival of BOC, a member of The Linde Group, into the market promises to change this.
BOC has developed a highly-efficient, no-loss fuelling station technology, using its unrivalled expertise in cryogenic cooling technology to temperature-condition the fuel just prior to dispensing. This ensures that no fuel is lost to evaporation and venting during the refuelling process. Typically, 20 per cent – and sometimes more – can be lost with more conventional systems, so this represents a major cost and carbon saving to users.
The safe transport and use of compressed and liquefied gases is a major aspect of all BOC operations. The design and engineering of the new LNG dispensing systems reflect that concern with gas-leak detection sensors linked to automatic shutdown protocols and other innovative safety features.
The new systems are backed up by the global expertise of The Linde Group which operates LNG supply systems in other parts of the world, including Scandinavia, Australia and the USA.
The company is initially talking to operators with fleets that work with a back-to-base refuelling strategy. Potential customers can trial the fuel – and the refuelling system – by using a pilot version of BOC’s commercial fuelling rig before committing to the technology. The rig can be transported on the back of a lorry to the customer site for evaluation.
Another major advantage of the BOC service is its national coverage, with a fleet of specially-commissioned and branded LNG tankers due to take to UK roads in the next few weeks.
“More and more UK firms are looking seriously at LNG as a low-carbon fuel for their long-distance vehicles,” noted BOC’s LNG Business Manager Mark Lowe. “LNG is a lower cost alternative to diesel and has a significantly lower carbon footprint. Up till now, though, there have been concerns about the availability of product and refuelling facilities. The entry into the market of a major international company like BOC should change that perception. We look forward to working with other players in this growing market sector to help ensure the success of low carbon transportation in the UK.”