How can gas be transported sustainably?
SGN is one of the UK’s largest gas distribution companies, operating 74,000km of gas pipelines and delivering gas to 5.9 million customers, in Scotland and across the south of England. They are trying to tackle the environmental costs associated with the existing transport infrastructure through an innovative transition from road to rail for transportation of liquified Natural gas.
SGN operates five Statutory Independent Undertakings (SIUs) in Scotland. These sites are not connected by pipeline to the rest of the gas network, but instead, are supplied with Liquified gas by road tanker and ISO tank. Four of these SIU’s use liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is transported from the Isle of Grain LNG storage terminal, in the South of England. This is a lifeline service supplying schools, hospitals, care homes, home and business owners and other vulnerable customers with gas. Without this service, customers would be forced to use more expensive and environmentally damaging sources of energy such as coal and oil.
From road to rail
The aims of this pioneering transport project were to reduce carbon emissions, improve the utilisation of SGN assets, and increase safety by reducing road mileage. This is achieved by transporting LNG by rail, using SGN owned intermodal (which means road and rail) ISO tank containers. In August 2017, SGN entered into a contract with John G Russell’s Transport Ltd (JGR). Through this contract, JGR provides liquified gas transportation services to the SIU sites, using SGN owned road tankers and ISO tanks. By using JGR’s intermodal transport services, SGN removed roughly 650 road miles per round trip from the Isle of Grain to the SIU sites – improving safety and environmental emissions.
SGN has removed over 550,000 road miles by implementing the new intermodal transport contract. From August 2017 to January 2019 over 13,000 tonnes of LNG has been moved by rail, reducing emissions by approximately 969,000 kg CO 2 e. Such a successful reduction in emissions has sparked interest in the scheme by other large gas companies, who are now looking to create similar projects.
This story shows how SGN supports Goal 13: Climate Action, specifically Target 13.3: “improve education, awareness raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning.”
SGN is one of the UK’s largest gas distribution companies, operating 74,000km of gas pipelines and delivering gas to 5.9 million customers, in Scotland and across the south and south-east of England.
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