Foresight Group is providing an initial £80 million in funding to CNG Fuels in a partnership to build a nationwide network of refuelling stations offering zero carbon fuel for HGVs.
The funding will see CNG Fuels develop 14 public access stations on major routes over the next two years, says the company.
The company says the new stations will quadruple its capacity and enable it to refuel 8,000 vehicles a day.
The supplier of Bio-CNG (compressed natural gas), found that demand for renewable biomethane compressed natural gas has risen by 800% since 2017.
Baden Gowrie-Smith, chief financial officer at CNG Fuels, said: “We expect the number of CNG trucks on UK roads to double in 2021 as fleet operators take action to support the government’s Net Zero targets.
“This exciting partnership with Foresight demonstrates their enthusiasm for biomethane as a solution to decarbonise heavy transport at scale, and the near-term development of more stations will enable us to serve our customers even better by delivering carbon neutral Bio-CNG nationwide.
"We hope this will give even more brands the confidence to switch from diesel.”
The funding, provided by Foresight Inheritance Tax Fund and JLEN Environment Assets Group, follows the new petrol and diesel cars and vans ban by 2030 announcement, which included the proposal of a consultation on the phase-out of new diesel HGVs.
The Government is being urged to develop a ‘masterplan’ that will enable the decarbonisation of transport, including vans and trucks.
Richard Morse, chairman of JLEN, Foresight Group’s listed environmental infrastructure fund, said: “We are pleased to make this investment into biomethane refuelling infrastructure, helping to decarbonise one of the most emission-intensive parts of the transport sector.
“We consider that the two pillars of better environmental performance and lower cost operations for customers combine to support our investment case and we look forward to supporting the growth of a national biomethane refuelling network.”
CNG Fuels recently opened its fifth refuelling station near the M6 Erdington, east of Birmingham, that can refuel up to 500 HGVs a day and support a virtual pipeline, using gas trailers to supply the John Lewis Partnership's depot at Magna Park, near Milton Keynes.
It's sixth station at Knowsley, near Liverpool is due to open in January 2021.
Stations due to open next year include Eurocentral, near Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Avonmouth and Wakefield.