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Media / Application stories / Atlas Copco compressors power UK’s largest compressed natural gas vehicle filling station

Atlas Copco compressors power UK’s largest compressed natural gas vehicle filling station


Wilrijk, September 2013. Atlas Copco Greenfield compressors are playing an integral role at the UK’s largest Biomethane Compressed Natural Gas (Bio-CNG) filling station in Crewe, in keeping with the company’s global commitment to a cleaner environment and sustainable productivity.

Atlas Copco CNG Compressors - CNG Services, Crewe 2
The newly opened filling station, which is operated by CNG Services Ltd., provides fuel that can offer an 80% reduction in CO2 and NOX emissions, and has the potential to lower transport operators’ fuel cost per mile by nearly a third.

Officially opened by MP, Edward Timpson, the station is the largest such facility in the UK, offering a highly reliable fuel supply with the capacity to fill 500 HGV’s per day via three fast-fill hoses, and making Crewe a key strategic point for UK transport. The station is already filling five CNG dual-fuel trucks for GIST/M&S, three for Tenens Environmental and one for Ceva Logistics/Tesco.  
With oil prices increasing, high diesel cost is a major concern for fleet managers. CNG is a cost-effective alternative fuel solution that will reduce commercial fleet fuel bills, whilst maintaining vehicle performance to a level comparable with that of traditional fuels. With CNG, a typical haulier can expect around a 30% reduc­tion in the cost of fuel per mile for a dual-fuel tractor unit.

Atlas Copco CNG Compressors - Paul ONeill
Compressed Natural Gas is made from natu­ral gas taken from the National Grid 7 bar gas grid. At the CNG Services filling station in Crewe, Atlas Copco Greenfield units are used to compress gas to 300bar, which is then stored in a bank of high pressure vessels capable of holding around 4,000kg of CNG, ready to be transferred via fast-fill 200 bar and 250 bar dispensers into vehicles. This operation is achieved by three Atlas Copco Greenfield C41JI 14AGP compressors, which are 110kW, four-stage reciprocating units rated at 450 Sm3/hr with an inlet pressure of 5.5bar(a).
Commenting on the role of Atlas Copco Greenfield within this enterprise, John Baldwin, Managing Director of CNG Services Ltd said: “When operating at full capacity, the filling station compressors will complete about 2000 hours a year and with planned maintenancewe anticipate a long and reliable service life from the units. We are aiming to build many more filling stations like this, and for them to be strategically placed at transport hubs. The6,000 km high pressure gas grid is a great source of low carbon, dry natural gas. It is also a vital national asset, and means that 90% of the UK’s major distribution centres are within 2 km of a low cost and low CO2 energy source for their trucks, especially if the natural gas is made from organic waste and injected into the grid as bio-methane.”

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Atlas Copco is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, expanders and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. With innovative products and services, Atlas Copco delivers solutions for sustainable productivity. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries. In 2012, Atlas Copco had 39 800 employees and revenues of BSEK 90.5 (BEUR 10.5).
Atlas Copco’s Compressor Technique business area provides industrial compressors, gas and process compressors and expanders, air and gas treatment equipment and air management systems. It has a global service network and offers specialty rental services. Compressor Technique innovates for sustainable productivity in the manufacturing, oil and gas, and process industries. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Belgium, Germany, the United States, China and India.