Fuel supplier Certa, which is part of DCC plc, has become the first operator in Ireland to open a fully-fledged HVO fuel station as it pursues a new strategy to make the fossil-free biofuel, which is a renewable alternative to diesel, more widely available to motorists.
Certa’s new ‘Forecourt of the Future’ in Liffey Valley cost over €1 million to build and is the first in Ireland to make Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) available at all pumps alongside diesel and unleaded petrol.
HVO is produced from waste plant matter and can be used as a direct replacement for diesel without any need for vehicle or engine modifications to help motorists lower their carbon emissions by up to 90%.
Certa has already started to upgrade its network of 41 unmanned, pay@pump forecourts to offer HVO at all fuel pumps alongside other fuels. The first of the newly upgraded forecourts are scheduled to open in Clarehall, Clearwater, Ballymount, Ashbourne and Drogheda before the end of the year.
“Our goal is to make it easy for motorists to transition to HVO as a renewable alternative to diesel and to make this biofuel as accessible as we can to help motorists to reduce their carbon emissions,” said Andrew Graham, Managing Director, Certa Ireland.
“Our immediate priority is to facilitate demand where it is greatest by upgrading a cluster of existing forecourts in the Dublin region to offer HVO at all pumps alongside diesel and unleaded petrol. We plan to complete the upgrading of our entire network by the end of 2024’, he added.
Certa has also become the first fuel supplier in Ireland to present HVO pricing on its forecourt pricing totems. It is currently matching the price of HVO with diesel at its new forecourt in Liffey Valley and it is committed to achieving future price parity.
“We want to close the gap on diesel to achieve price parity. We want our pricing for HVO to be comparable and competitive with diesel. That is our long-term goal and we are confident that we can achieve it,” said Mr. Graham.
Certa is also rolling out a plan that will enable its entire network of 41 forecourts to generate their own power from solar energy following its recent acquisition of leading solar and renewable energy specialists Alternative Energy Ireland.
Solar PV panels have already been installed at five of its forecourts. Certa is committed to reducing its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 or sooner. The ongoing installation of Solar PV across its network is taking place as part of its energy transition programme and drive to become Ireland’s most progressive energy company.
66 Solar PV panels have been installed at the newly opened Certa forecourt in Liffey Valley to help power the site, including its carwash and two Electric Vehicle (EV) fast chargers with speeds of up to 180 kWh. The installation is estimated to save 7 tonnes of carbon a year.
Certa’s decision to place HVO on the same footing as other fuels follows the successful opening of a stand-alone HVO pump at the Certa Lee Tunnel forecourt in Cork earlier this year and its decision to transition its entire fleet of 100 delivery vehicles from diesel to HVO as a low carbon biofuel.
It has also helped a growing number of leading businesses and events to decarbonise and to transition to HVO as a renewable fuel, including Amazon Web Service (AWS), John Sisk & Son Ltd., M50 Truck and Van Centre, The National Ploughing Championships, the Irish Open and Electric Picnic.
The machinery involved in the construction of the new Certa forecourt in Liffey Valley was fully fuelled by HVO. The development of the site has also come full circle with the provision of a dedicated Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) lane for HGV drivers and businesses who are committed to fuelling their vehicles with HVO.