A new alternative fuel has been launched at a Caltex Star Mart service station in Tullamarine. The first public Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling facility by Caltex Australia has been opened this week.
Working together with AGL Energy Limited (AGL), Caltex now offers CNG at its Star Mart site at Tullamarine, reckoned to be the first major fuel supplier in Australia to offer this niche fuel on a service station site.
The facility was opened by Caltex’s Executive General Manager Commercial, Bruce Rosengarten, and is expected to mainly service commercial truck fleets already operating with the fuel.
“While commercial trucks, buses and machinery represent the vast majority of the 3000 existing CNG vehicles operating nationally, building this type of refuelling infrastructure will give motorists with compatible vehicles access to the niche fuel too,” said Rosengarten. “There is a growing trend toward natural gas with more than 13 million vehicles powered by the fuel globally.
“In Australia a major barrier is the lack of new vehicles designed to use the fuel and, as a result, there has not been demand for refuelling facilities. By opening the Tullamarine CNG facility, Caltex and AGL will ensure the alternative fuel is available to motorists if and when it is needed, while meeting the needs of existing commercial customers.”
AGL Executive General Manager New Energy Marc England was quoted as saying AGL is very pleased to be working with Caltex on this initiative.
“This partnership can help businesses focus on cost effectiveness and enable them to reduce their environmental footprints, so we believe it is a smart choice for fleet companies,” said England.
CNG is sold in kilograms and the pump will display a price per kilogram. Unfortunately, CNG attracts both excise and GST. The approximate pump price is expected to be around $1.60 per kilo of CNG, but will vary based on the market and changes to cost price and taxes. One kilogram of CNG is equivalent to approximately 1.4 litres of diesel.
There are more than 3000 CNG vehicle in Australia, made up of buses, machinery, commercial trucks and a small number of passenger vehicles. Isuzu offer two CNG models in the N Series range and a further two in the F Series. There are also Iveco and Dennis Eagle models with CNG capability.