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Sat October 19 2019

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Lovell trials alternative fuel

3 Oct Latest company to try out Shell’s clean-burning GTL biofuel is Lovell, on a housing development in Manchester.

Left to right are Daren Asson, Rob Worboys, Graham Jones, Shaun Cornthwaite, Patricia Gorecka, Paul McGarry and Ian Lord. They are all from Lovell except for Graham Jones, who is MD of Plant Hire UK.
Left to right are Daren Asson, Rob Worboys, Graham Jones, Shaun Cornthwaite, Patricia Gorecka, Paul McGarry and Ian Lord. They are all from Lovell except for Graham Jones, who is MD of Plant Hire UK.

As part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Lovell has been using GTL (Gas-to-Liquid) fuel since July to power a JCB telehandler at its Miles Platting development in Manchester.

Lovell has worked with both telehandler supplier Plant Hire UK and Shell to instigate the trial. Whether its rolls it out nationwide has yet to be determined.

In March 2018, Lovell’s parent company Morgan Sindall Group pledged to achieve an 11% cut in direct emissions by 2025 and by 56% by 2050. Lovell committed itself to monitoring the alternative fuel market with a view to finding substitutes that would support it to achieve the necessary reductions.

Shell says that GTL fuel burns more cleanly and ‘has been proven to produce lower and less harmful emissions’ – 37% less nitrogen oxide emissions and 90% less particulate matter than conventional diesel, it says.

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As previously reported, GTL has also been tried by Jackson Civil Engineering and J Murphy & Sons.

Lovell sustainability co-ordinator Gemma Tovey said: “We are really excited to have collaborated with Plant Hire UK, JCB and Shell for this trial and if the fuel works efficiently with the telehandler, we know that it will help us to achieve our greenhouse gas reduction targets and improve air quality. We are looking forward to seeing results from the trial and are hopeful that we will be able to use the fuel on a more widespread basis.”

JCB Power Systems general manager Peter Jowett said: “JCB is delighted to have been able to approve both HVO and GTL fuels for use in our engines. Innovation and collaboration are essential to delivering sustainable development and we welcome opportunities to work with our dealers and customers to test these fuels in real-time applications.”

Shell GTL fuel is produced from natural gas in a chemical transformation process. The basic technology behind GTL is known as the Fischer-Tropsch process, which was developed by German scientists in the 1920s and refined by Shell’s proprietary technology. Firstly, the natural gas is converted into CO and H2, which are then combined in the Fischer-Tropsch process to form paraffins. These are refined through hydrocracking into various synthetic products, including GTL fuel.

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