Northern Irish Weltec customer uses biomethane as a truck fuel for Lidl

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The biogas plant of the Northern Irish food logistics company McCulla Transport will go live producing biomethane in July 2021, following a plant expansion by Weltec Bipower and partner companies.

At the site in Lisburn, 10km south of Belfast, 450 standard m³ of biogas will be processed into biomethane/RNG every hour. With this amount, the logistics company can operate 10 new CNG trucks, which are refuelled directly at the company’s new biomethane filling point. The substrates for the production of the green fuel come from the 41 Lidl supermarkets in Northern Ireland.

Ashley McCulla, chairman of the transport company of the same name, was able to commission the first stage of his biogas plant from Weltec Bipower back in January 2017. The intention at the time was to utilise the residual materials from his own agricultural business and to create synergies through the use of renewable electricity and heat in the refrigerated warehouse at their main logistics depot.

As one of Northern Ireland’s largest food transport companies with 235 employees and a cold storage facility of almost 8,500m2, McCulla has been supplying Lidl Northern Ireland’s supermarkets for years. With the conversion of the biogas plant, 17,500 tonnes per year of food leftovers from Lidl stores will substitute the agricultural residues as substrate for the HGV fuel production.

The 10 new bio-CNG trucks will transport Lidl food deliveries with renewable gas. “Every lorry that runs on the green fuel emits 93% less carbon emissions than a diesel truck,” explained chairman Ashley McCulla. Due to the excellent eco-balance, the reduced emissions and the lower dependency on fossil fuels, the deal between Lidl and McCulla is creating a positive response from all parties involved.

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