Sprague Supplies Renewable Diesel for NYC Pilot Project


New York City reached out to Sprague Operating Resources earlier this year, and the result was a pilot project in which the city used renewable diesel in its fleet, the company reports.

With 30,000 owned and leased vehicles and 400 in-house fueling locations, New York City operates the largest municipal fleet in the United States, Sprague said in a Nov. 9 news release. The city has conducted several pilot studies of alternative fuels in its fleet since announcing a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. In order to help meet this goal, the city wants to reduce its transportation-related emissions.

Renewable diesel is molecularly identical to petroleum diesel but is derived almost exclusively of plant residual waste and animal fats, Sprague said. Its use in an over-the-road application results in a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional petroleum-based diesel, the fuel supplier said. New York City agencies wanted to find out if they could realize emission reductions without an operational interruption in a variety of use cases.

Sprague was chosen to help facilitate the trial, in part because it could transport a small quantity of boutique fuel and store it in a local terminal. Sprague said it was also willing to guarantee delivery and meet the city’s quality inspection protocols.

“Sprague was pleased to leverage our infrastructure and experience in order to deliver cleaner fuels to the city,” said David Glendon, the company’s president and chief executive officer. “We applaud the commitment of Mayor [Bill] de Blasio, DCAS and city agency fleets to this initiative and look forward to continuing our longstanding partnership with New York City agencies as the program evolves.” (DCAS is the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.)


While renewable diesel has been successfully used in California, New York City’s project was one of the first fleets to test the fuel in the Northeast, Sprague said.

More than 900,000 gallons of renewable fuel were used in more than 1,000 government vehicles. Primarily used in larger vehicles like sanitation trucks, the vehicles drove more than an estimated 11 million miles during the six-month trial.

Headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., with additional locations throughout the Northeast, Sprague ventured into the business of ultra-low-sulfur diesel 10 years prior to the Environmental Protection Agency mandating its use. In 2007, Sprague introduced bioheat and biodiesel to New York City agencies, and today offers biofuel options through its Bronx and Lawrence terminals to customers on Long Island and in New York City.

Founded in 1870, Sprague Resources LP is engaged in the purchase, storage, distribution and sale of refined petroleum products and natural gas. More information about Sprague can be found at www.spragueenergy.com.


PICTURED: A Sprague truck parked near the site of the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. In the background can be seen the Unisphere, the 12-story stainless-steel globe that was erected for the Fair and has been preserved as a landmark. Photo courtesy of Sprague Operating Resources.


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