Anheuser-Busch expands its natural gas fleet to St. Louis
For many companies looking to increase cost savings while reducing their carbon footprint, converting logistics fleets from diesel to compressed natural gas (CNG) is becoming an increasingly appealing option. Last year Anheuser-Busch made its first foray into the world of CNG, converting its fleet of 66 diesel distribution trucks to natural gas at its Houston facility. Now, based on the success of that initial conversion, the beer giant is expanding its corporate social responsibility efforts with a full fleet conversion from diesel to natural gas at its home base in St. Louis.
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According to a statement released by Anheuser-Busch, this change could reduce the St. Louis-based brewing company’s carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 2,500 tons per year as they travel an average of 11 million miles per year delivering beer from the St. Louis facility throughout the Midwest. This estimate isn’t based on pure conjecture but a year of observed experience—last year Anheuser-Busch completed a similar transition at its Houston brewery, converting 66 diesel trucks to natural gas. Anheuser-Busch predicts that this even larger conversion will provide an even stronger environmental benefit:
“Transitioning our entire St. Louis tractor fleet to CNG-powered engines brings environmental benefits directly to our company and our community,” said James Sembrot, Senior Director, Transportation, Anheuser-Busch, in a press release from the company. “A conversion of this scale is indicative of the commitment we’ve made to deploying more sustainable technologies and processes at each stage of the brewing process – from Seed to Sip.”
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Environmental benefits are hugely important to Anheuser-Busch right now: as reported at our sister publication FDF World, the brewing company also recently launched a drought relief-focused corporate social responsibility campaign through its brand Shock Top. But in addition to environmental benefits, there are additional benefits to CNG conversion that will also make this move worth Anheuser-Busch’s while. At the recent Pipeline and Energy Expo in Tulsa this week, experts asserted that while there is cost up front in the conversion process, businesses making the switch from traditional fuel to compressed natural gas could see massive savings in fuel and maintenance costs.
In the meantime, the move is also making a good impression on Anheuser-Busch’s home town. “I want to thank Anheuser-Busch for setting an example for businesses across the City by committing to environmentally-friendly business practices,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay in Anheuser-Busch’s press release. “With Anheuser-Busch identifying and implementing sustainable alternatives, the company is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make St. Louis a better place for all of us to live, work and play.”
To get more in depth, check out Anheuser-Busch’s video going in depth on its emissions solutions plans below:
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.