Fleet News

BP invests £15m to create UK's biggest LPG network

PRESSURE from fleets for easy access to alternative fuels has sparked a £15 million investment programme by oil giant BP to create the largest network of forecourt liquefied petroleum gas filling sites in the country. The company is aiming to have 300 of its forecourts dispensing LPG within the next five years and wants to have 75 sites on-line by the millennium.

It will be going head-to-head with Shell, which is rolling out 200 LPG sites throughout the country by 2001, reflecting an investment of £10 million. The investment answers a series of damning attacks from fleets which say a lack of commitment from oil firms to alternative fuels is holding back conversions to clean-fuelled vehicles.

Paul Bellamy, facilities manager for DHL, this week said extra refuelling sites could mean the addition of up to 50 alternatively-fuelled vehicles to his fleet, which already has more than 20 LPG vehicles. But he said: 'The network is not as advanced as we would like. Fleets must not be intimidated. They must tell oil companies what they want.'

BP says it is willing to listen to fleet demands as it rolls out its nationwide network of refuelling sites aimed at areas of proven demand. It already has two sites in the UK, one in Scotland and one in England, and intends to concentrate on population centres with most of its openings, including London, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

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