Shell has terminated the supply of Autogas liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at its UK forecourts, with an Autogas spokesperson citing low demand and prohibitive compliance costs.
Autogas UK was a joint venture between Shell and LPG supplier Calor, but the Autogas UK website has been closed down and anyone trying to access it is met by a notice stating: “Autogas is no longer trading” and directing anyone seeking alternative supply points to the independent fillLPG website.
In a statement released by Autogas it said: “Following a business review by the Autogas board, the difficult decision has been taken to end the joint venture and to decommission its LPG refuelling network.
“Autogas is a joint venture between Shell and Calor and, although drivers of LPG vehicles will no longer be able to refuel at Autogas sites at Shell service stations, there remains a large network of LPG sites across the UK, with infrastructure available to support LPG drivers.”
Calor will continue to supply LPG at more than 1,000 sites across the UK, and according to fillLPG there is a total 1,907 stations still in operation throughout the UK and Ireland.
An Autogas spokesman told Autocar magazine that there were a number of factors at play in the decision to exit the UK market: “Customer demand for LPG for domestic transportation has declined due to changing customer preferences and the increasing availability of other lower-carbon fuels. Many of our Autogas sites are therefore increasingly under-utilised, which is why the LPG offering is being phased out.
“The current Autogas refuelling network was installed around 20 years ago and, as such, significant investment would be required to maintain the long-term safe and compliant operation of these facilities.”
Of all the major oil companies Shell has been the one with the widest range of alternative fuel options, investing in pilots for hydrogen as well as expanding its electric charging service and providing Autogas. It is also working on GTL (gas to liquid).
At its peak there were more than 250 Shell sites supplying Autogas.