powering the Thames with GPS Marine and the capital’s first floating biofuel station
sep 20 / 2021
GPS Marine is the largest commercial vessel operator on the Thames. When huge infrastructure projects are being undertaken in London, GPS takes the burden off many of the Capital’s roads - replacing 111,110 lorry movements during the latest stage of work for Crossrail. But its tugboats pull extremely heavy loads, and were operating with diesel in already very polluted areas of London. The company was looking to find an alternative fuel source – without putting any more fuel delivery trucks on the congested roads around the Thames.
“We hope to set an example for other fleets to take environmental responsibility into their own hands – and put words into action.”
John Spencer, CEO GPS MARINE
Working in partnership with GBF, GPS Marine was able to directly replace its fuel for Gd+ HVO across its entire fleet in 2021; immediately reducing its carbon emissions by 85%. However, the company’s ambitions went further – to establish a fuelling station that would make it easy for any watercraft to fill up with biofuel on the water. Together, we built a floating bio-refuel station on the Thames itself. The Dispenser barge was launched to refuel not only the GPS Marine tug boats, but any other commercial vessels on the Thames looking to reduce their emissions.
The Dispenser, made by GBF from a repurposed barge, is currently fuelling commercial vehicles across the Thames. It’s set to make an annual carbon emission saving equivalent to 3,861 tonnes of CO2e. The actions of GPS Marine to reduce its net carbon emissions by 90%, and eliminate SOx emissions completely, have been recognised by the Green Apple Transport Sector – who awarded the company its Environmental Best Practice Award in November 2021.