Diesel drivers urged to consider switching to low-emission HVO biofuel

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Announcing the launch of Škoda’s and Certa’s joint campaign urging diesel drivers to consider switching to low-emission HVO biofuel is John Donegan (left), Brand Director at Škoda Ireland, Ciara Breen (2nd from left), Marketing Manager at Škoda Ireland, Andrew Graham, Managing Director at Certa and Laura Byrne Head of Sustainable Fuels at Certa.
As a growing number of road transport operators are aware, the benefits of using hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as a low carbon replacement for diesel, is becoming more apparent as their customers are seeking a greener supply chain. They will now be pleased to hear that fuel supplier Certa is about to rollout more, easily accessible HVO pumps at forecourts around the country. In addition, Certa has embarked on a nationwide campaign with Skoda to raise awareness of HVO as a direct replacement for diesel, that can help users to lower their carbon emissions by up to 90%.

HVO biofuel is a relatively new fuel and is usually sold at a slightly higher cost than diesel. Certa currently has an offer which matches the price of HVO with that of diesel. The Irish owned company, which is part of DCC plc, is in the process of upgrading its network of 41 unmanned, pay@pump forecourts to offer HVO at all fuel pumps alongside other fuels.

HVO is a second generation low-carbon biofuel, a drop in replacement, that serves as a direct replacement for regular diesel without any need for vehicle or engine modifications. It is produced by Nestle in Finland, using waste plant-matter and hydrogen, which means it does not release any additional carbon emissions into the atmosphere and can result in a 90% net reduction in CO2 emissions. HVO is distinguished at fuel pumps through the use of a pink nozzle, which stands out from the black diesel and green petrol ones.

In Ireland, HVO is expected to meet a large proportion of the increase in biofuel supply to decarbonise the transport sector and is considered a vital transition fuel as electric powered vehicles continue to become more mainstream.

HVO can be used as a direct replacement for diesel in a wide variety of truck, bus and van fleets, plant and machinery equipment in addition to passenger cars. It can also be mixed with diesel in any ratio. The performance of diesel engines using HVO is near identical to when they are fuelled with diesel. HVO is recognised by the Irish government as a 100% replacement for conventional diesel with greenhouse gas reduction benefits.

The biofuel is currently available at Certa forecourts in Liffey Valley in Dublin, Lee Tunnel in Cork and Trim in Meath. Certa is planning to have seven more forecourts HVO-ready by the end of this year. The forecourts planned to be fitted with HVO pumps are located in Dundrum, Tallaght and Finglas in Dublin, Maynooth in Kildare, Letterkenny in Donegal and Athlone and Mullingar in Westmeath. One of the tanker distribution hubs is based in Ballyhaunis.

Škoda also recognises the status and potentially important role of HVO as a transition fuel and a cleaner alternative to diesel and, as such, is seeking to encourage both existing owners of diesel cars and any buyers of new diesel cars to consider HVO as an alternative.

Announcing the launch of Škoda’s and Certa’s joint campaign urging diesel drivers to consider switching to low-emission HVO biofuel is are Ciara Breen (left), Marketing Manager at Škoda Ireland, and Laura Byrne Head of Sustainable Fuels at Certa.