The country's third and fourth publicly-accessible, fast-fill Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations have opened in Dublin and Limerick.

Strategically located to support prominent haulier routes in Clonshaugh in Dublin and Ballysimon Road in Limerick City, the new stations have the capacity to fill 50 Heavy Good Vehicles (HGVs) a day, with each fill taking no more than five minutes.

Renewable gases are the only deployable at scale, low carbon alternative fuel for use in HGVs, where electric solutions are not currently viable options.

The new stations allow hauliers and fleet operators to begin the journey to sustainable transport by switching their fuel from diesel to CNG and ultimately transition to networked renewable gases, including biomethane and hydrogen, in the future.

Transport currently accounts for 42% of Ireland's energy use, making it the country’s largest source of energy demand.

It is also one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise. HGVs and buses generate 30% of road transport emissions despite accounting for just 4% of vehicles on roads here.

Proven global technologies, such as compressed natural gas (CNG), and renewable gases, including biomethane and hydrogen, can all play a part in helping decarbonise the country's transport sector.

Virginia International Logistics became the first haulier in Ireland to complete a zero-carbon HGV delivery to Europe, using a truck fuelled by renewable gas for the 1,000km round-trip to Caen in northern France.

Jonathan Diver, Senior Director Fuels at Circle K, said the new CNG stations at Circle K Clonshaugh and Circle K Ballysimon Road further strengthens its natural gas capabilities alongside its Dublin Port and Cashel stations.

"Expanding our network of CNG refuelling stations as well as continuing to develop our EV charging facilities are both key elements within our overall sustainability agenda and we intend to make further progress in this regard in the months and years ahead," he added.

Gas Networks Ireland's Head of Commercial and Corporate Affairs, Ian O'Flynn, said the country's commercial transport sector is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise.

"But we’re on a journey with hauliers and forecourt operators to reduce emissions through natural gas today and renewable gas down the road," Mr O'Flynn said.

"CNG stations are directly connected to the national gas network and CNG vehicles are future-proofed for biomethane, which is already available in Ireland. By delivering a network of CNG refuelling stations, we are supporting hauliers and fleet operators to make a sustainable switch to gas-powered vehicles," he added.