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19/04/2024

Irish Tar & Bitumen Switches To Natural And Renewable Gas

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Gas Networks Ireland has announced that Irish Tar & Bitumen Suppliers Ltd (Irish Tar) is the first company in its industry to switch to a combination of both natural and renewable gas.

Making the change from heavy fuel oil (HFO) to gas will significantly reduce the company's carbon emissions by almost one third overnight.

Over the past 86 years, Irish Tar has become one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of high-quality bituminous road binders for the road construction and road maintenance industry in Ireland.

Irish Tar, in collaboration with Gas Networks Ireland, continues to set itself apart from competitors by sourcing indigenous biomethane. Moving forward, five per cent of its yearly gas consumption will be carbon neutral, as they substitute this portion of natural gas with biomethane.

Gas Networks Ireland's Head of Business Development, Karen Doyle said:

"Irish Tar is a great example of a large energy user in a ‘hard to abate’ industry who, once connected to the gas network significantly reduced its CO₂ emissions. Powering their storage and manufacturing processes with natural gas is an important first step and will provide a significant benefit, in this case reducing their overall emissions by up to 25%.

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"However, given Irish Tar’s important role within supply chains, their decision to avail of indigenous biomethane positions them well with the contractors, local authorities and companies it provides products and services to, given the focus and pressures businesses now have on driving down emissions in all aspects of their work and operations.

"We are proud to support industries such as Irish Tar as they transition to renewable gas, demonstrating the potential for large commercial energy users to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to Ireland's renewable energy future."

Biomethane, structurally identical to natural gas, is a renewable gas that's carbon neutral and can be produced from farm and food waste using anaerobic digestion. Biomethane is fully compatible with the national gas network and existing appliances, technologies, and vehicles. It can replace natural gas to reduce emissions in heating, industry, transport, and power generation, while also supporting the decarbonisation of the agri-food sector.

JP Brennan, Managing Director of Irish Tar & Bitumen Suppliers Ltd. said: "As a supplier of high-quality bituminous products for the construction and maintenance of Ireland’s national and regional road infrastructure, we are committed to our energy efficiency strategy, to sustainability and to reducing our carbon footprint. Our storage and manufacturing processes require high heat and lots of energy. Moving parts of our operations to natural gas has allowed us to make instant emissions savings and formal renewable gas certification builds on that. We view this as a significant milestone in our overall strategy to decarbonise our operations at our facility in Dublin Port."

Gas Networks Ireland initially introduced domestically produced biomethane into Ireland's gas network in small quantities in 2019, marking a milestone with the country's first renewable gas injection point in Cush. Presently, the company is gearing up to construct a second injection facility in Mitchelstown, County Cork.

In January, the Departments of Agriculture and Environment co-published the Draft National Biomethane Strategy. Industry stakeholders were invited to provide feedback on necessary supports and policies. Gas Networks Ireland eagerly awaits the final strategy, crucial for decarbonising Ireland's gas network toward achieving a net-zero energy system by 2050.



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