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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Antrim & Newtownabbey Council 'cooks up' new fuel policy

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council could soon be the first local authority in Northern Ireland to have a vehicle fleet fuelled on vegetable oil.

Councillors are to consider fresh options to improve efficiency of vehicles and reduce carbon emissions in line with the local authority’s Climate Change Action Plan.

Options include a pilot to road-test low emission fuels such as hydrogen, electric and hydrotreated vegetable oil with potential partnership opportunities with other public sector organisations such as Translink being considered.

A report to councillors says that specially-treated vegetable oil derived from used cooking oils, residue animal fats from food processing and non-food grade crops can be a direct replacement for diesel but is 15 per cent more expensive and would result in an increased cost of £60,000 per annum to fuel the fleet although it can achieve up to 90 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.

Fifteen vehicles have been identified as suitable for a three-month pilot at a cost of £2,500.

A two-day trial of a 26-tonne electric-powered bin lorry has been proposed. The council currently operates two small electric powered vans.

Councillors will consider the fuel pilots at their October meeting when they meet on Monday evening.


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