Drivers and businesses using major fuel could see significant impacts from Joe Biden's export ban

Drivers and businesses using major fuel could see significant impacts from Joe Biden's export ban

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Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 15/02/2024

- 09:41

'If it was a long-term ban, then it would have quite an impact on the market'

Businesses around the UK that use vehicles powered by alternative fuels could face uncertain times after US President Biden banned exports of the fuel.

At the end of January, President Joe Biden paused approvals for pending and future applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The US Department of Energy will investigate the economic and environmental impacts of projects seeking approval to export LNG to Europe and Asia where there is far larger demand.

LNG is mainly used in the haulage industry and can be used to replace diesel trucks with more environmentally friendly units.

Refuelling fuel tank and Joe Biden

A number of large companies across the UK use LNG in their fleets


Companies like DHL Parcel UK use LNG within their fleet with around 30 Liquefied Natural Gas Volvo tractor units used in 16-tonne vehicles.

The group is expected to invest over £6billion in sustainable fuel and clean technologies by 2030 alone.

However, experts have warned that Biden’s pause on new exports could have “quite an impact” on the market if the ban is upheld for a long time.

Steve Hill, Executive Vice President at Shell Energy, said the ban “is probably okay if it lasts a year or so, but if it was a long-term ban, then it would have quite an impact on the market”.

According to Shell, demand for LNG around the world is estimated to rise more than 50 per cent by 2040 as more industries adopt the fuel.

The report added that China is likely to dominate LNG demand growth before the end of this decade.

Steve Hill added that Europe may not be able to adhere to the demand required based on their long-term contracts.

He added: “We still see a structural shortage of 50 to 70 million (metric) tonnes a year for the rest of the decade or more that Europe needs to secure,” Reuters reported.

LNG is also used by brands including Mini, Primark, Iveco, Aston Martin, Knauf, Nicholls and Lloyds Transport and Warehousing.

In the case of Aston Martin, new Volvo FH 460 Globetrotter LNG tractor units will replace eight diesel trucks, estimating that they are 78 per cent less polluting than their diesel counterparts.

Any LNG-powered vehicles in the UK must adhere to standard insurance, tax and registration requirements, as set out by the DVSA and Department for Transport.

Major manufacturers Iveco, Scania and Volvo offer powerful LNG trucks that match the performance and efficiency of diesel, but also cut down on emissions.


LNG filling station

Shell has warned that Europe may suffer with the supply and demand of LNG 


Commenting on the ban, Roger Wicker, Republican Senator for Mississippi, slammed the move saying: “The growing United States LNG industry is so undeniably good for the United States that there is only one explanation for the president’s decision.

“He knows it is an election year, and he wants to shore up his climate activist base. With this move, the president is scoring some political points at the expense of American energy security and workers.”

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