How Shell walks the decarbonization walk
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How Shell walks the decarbonization walk

David Sickels is the Senior Editor of Fleet Equipment. He has a history of working in the media, marketing and automotive industries in both print and online.

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When FE spoke to Shell about the trucking industry’s decarbonization journey in 2021, Tim Murray, Shell’s general manager of commercial road transport – Americas ended our interview by saying fleets will soon face a sustainability tipping point due to increasing regulatory and market pressures, and the need to decarbonize will likely evolve faster than many expect.

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“OK,” I asked. “So, what can a company like Shell do about it?”

Murray knew I would ask, and he came ready with examples to demonstrate Shell’s decarbonization commitment. The one that piqued my interest most was how Shell’s first U.S. biomethane site, Shell New Energies, in Junction City, Oregon commenced production earlier in 2021. Upon achieving a steady state of operations, this anaerobic digestion project will use manure, grass straw and wheat straw waste to produce approximately 736,000 MMBtu a year of RNG, Murray said. Yes, it sounds gross… but if that’s not sustainable, I don’t know what is.

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Here are a few more examples from Murray:

  • Shell is also constructing two dairy manure-to-RNG projects. Shell Downstream Galloway, to be co-located at the High Plains Ponderosa Dairy in Plains, Kansas, is expected to produce more than 500,000 MMBtu a year of negative carbon intensity RNG. Shell Downstream Bovarius will be co-located at the Bettencourt Dairies in Wendell, Idaho and is expected to produce approximately 400,000 MMBtu a year of negative carbon intensity RNG.
  • Shell has taken a final investment decision to construct, own and operate its first U.S. Renewable Compressed Natural Gas (R-CNG) fueling site at its products distribution complex near port of Los Angeles in California. Assuming permit approvals, the fueling site will allow Shell to substantially decarbonize its on-road product movements out of the terminal by providing 100% R-CNG for its hauling, Murray said. The R-CNG will be sourced from Shell’s developing portfolio of renewable natural gas projects.
  • Since 2018, Shell has been part of a Californian project with the Port of Los Angeles, Toyota Motor Corp. and Kenworth Truck Co to enable hydrogen trucks to operate out of the Port of Los Angeles. Shell is developing new large-capacity refueling stations for heavy-duty hydrogen fuel-cell trucks provided by Toyota and Kenworth.
  • Through Shell Recharge, we joined Volvo and others in a public-private partnership to help commercialize BEV trucks in Southern California.
  • During the last few years, Shell has made investments in digital solutions to help road freight customers improve fleet management. Singapore-based Connected Freight, which started as a Shell digital venture in 2017, connects a network of retailers, suppliers and third-party logistic providers so companies can have an integrated and systematic process for order, dispatch and fulfillment of their deliveries. This reduces the total number of miles traveled by delivering last-mile efficiencies.
  • In 2020, Shell also announced an investment in InstaFreight, a company that uses digitalization to optimize processes and increase information transparency in the European freight forwarding industry. This investment builds on our expertise to optimize freight delivery, while also reducing emissions and road miles.

Decarbonization was FE’s 2021 Trend of the Year. Read about the big sustainability advancements from the past 365 here:

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