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Home » Future of Energy » Making sure the transport sector has cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels

Gordon Lawlor

Managing Director, Circle K Ireland

Jonathan Diver

Fuels Director, Circle K Ireland

The commercial freight and haulage sectors now have better opportunities to transition away from fossil fuels to the clean fuels of the future, such as biodiesel and BioCNG.

For years, there have been conversations about finding alternatives to fossil fuels. As the impact of the climate crisis becomes frighteningly evident — and with the Irish Government’s 2030 transport carbon reduction target looming — the time for talk is over.  

Action for clean fuel and transport 

It’s time for action, insists Gordon Lawlor, Managing Director of Ireland’s largest forecourt and convenience retailer, Circle K. Commercial freight and haulage sectors must have greater opportunities to transition away from fossil fuels to clean fuels. 

“We’re helping to provide an alternative to fossil fuels and reduce fuel carbon emissions,” he explains. “Firstly, we’re leading the way in biofuels and introducing sustainable biodiesel, which is an alternative fuel to standard diesel. Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) alternative diesel offers an up to 90% reduction in carbon emissions over regular diesel, so we’ve been using it across our fleet of fuel delivery vehicles. It’s also been helping our heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and fleet partners reduce their emissions, and it is encouraging to see increasing interest from companies across the country who have been engaging with us as they, too, look for alternative fuels.”  

We’re helping to provide an alternative to
fossil fuels and reduce fuel carbon emissions.

Gordon Lawlor

Expanding availability of fossil-free biodiesel across Ireland 

Circle K’s milesBIO HVO100 is a completely fossil-free biofuel and is made from fully renewable feedstock derived from vegetable oils, used cooking oil or other waste and byproducts. It also contains an additive that keeps the fuel system and — above all — fuel pump injection nozzles clean. Nozzles work more optimally and inject fuel into a vehicle’s engine in a more finely divided condition so that it burns more completely.  

The company — which has over 420 locations across the island of Ireland, launched HVO renewable diesel in Dublin Port at the end of last year — has plans to introduce HVO to 10 additional service stations across the national road network by the end of 2023, with more expected in 2024 to help businesses reduce their carbon emissions. “While this renewable diesel is new to our sites in Ireland, it has been available across Scandinavia at our locations in Norway, Sweden and Denmark in recent years,” says Jonathan Diver, Fuels Director, Circle K Ireland.  

“That has helped guide its introduction here. We also supported the move from E5 to E10 in petrol products in the Irish market at the start of July, which has increased the level of ethanol in petrol from 5% to 10%, resulting in significantly reduced carbon emissions.” 

CNG for the haulage sector and growing electric charging network 

Circle K has also been active within the EV (Electric Vehicle) space. It already has the largest network of fast chargers in Ireland with 35 service stations offering EV charging points, and will be rolling out its own branded electric vehicle chargers across 30 of its forecourts by 2025. “EVs are at the heart of the Irish Government’s plans to decarbonise the transport sector,” says Lawlor. “We are committed to supporting this strategy.” 

Finally, the company is now offering its HGV partners compressed natural gas (CNG) at a number of its retail sites while BioCNG, a carbon-neutral biomethane gas, is available at its forecourts. “This is a significant development because Ireland’s transport industry is one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise,” reveals Diver.  

“Ireland’s commercial transport fleet makes up just 3% of vehicles on the road nationwide but is responsible for approximately a fifth of transport’s carbon emissions. If HGVs operate on 100% BioCNG, they can achieve zero carbon emissions.” 

“As a fuel company, we are continuously looking to adapt to our partners’ needs and are always exploring new alternative fuel sources,” says Lawlor. “Because our European Headquarters is based out of Oslo, Norway — a country viewed as leading the way in renewable energy — we are fortunate to have access to the latest trends and products within this space.” 

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