BY ANGELINA MARTIN

Photo contributed
Neste vice president of sales Jeremy Baines and Van De Pol president Ron Van De Pol prepare to cut the ribbon on Van De Pol’s new Neste-branded cardlock in Keyes.

The journey to cleaner emissions in the San Joaquin Valley reached a major milestone on Tuesday morning in Keyes, as the small community joined the growing number of roadside stops in California providing passing fleet drivers with the choice to fill up with renewable diesel fuel.

The Van De Pol cardlock in Keyes unveiled its newly-remodeled station, complete with Nest-branded pumps that will dispense Neste MY Renewable Diesel — a low-carbon fuel produced from 100 percent renewable and sustainable raw materials that cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent compared to petroleum diesel.

Representatives from local trucking companies, fire departments, waste management services and the Keyes Unified School District, which will all utilize the renewable fill-up destination, were on-hand Tuesday to celebrate the opening of the cardlock. Colby Ball of Starlite Trucking explained that while his company was hesitant at first, they soon realized the benefits of renewable diesel fuel far outweighed any doubts.

“As I learned more about it, I got more excited about it and it’s actually proven to be far superior to what I even thought,” Ball explained, adding that Starlite saves on average $100,000 per year thanks to their use of renewable diesel. “Not only are we helping the environment, which the trucking industry is very passionate about, but if we can put a clean fuel in…it’s a great place to be.”

Neste MY Renewable Diesel, made from waste oils and fats, is a clean-burning diesel fuel that keeps fuel filters, particulate filters and fuel injection systems cleaner and vehicles running efficiently. Different than biofuel, it is a direct replacement fuel for petroleum diesel that requires no blending and is compatible with all diesel engines without any modification or change in infrastructure. It is priced competitively with traditional diesel.

Neste vice president of sales Jeremy Baines said that as the effects of climate change take hold, more and more companies like Starlite are making the switch to renewable sources of energy. The Keyes Neste site alone will provide enough fuel for the local community to drive six million miles on renewable fuels, reducing emissions by up to 80 percent, or about 2.8 million pounds of CO2 per year.

“There’s no investment required for a truck to pull in here and make the choice to go for renewable diesel as opposed to fossil diesel,” Baines said. “Once they make the switch, they see not only the emission benefits, but also the performance maintenance.”

Van De Pol president Ron Van De Pol believes renewable fuel is the “future of diesel.”

“It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you improve your mileage by half a gallon on a truck fleet it’s significant…but more importantly for the drivers, when you get a little on your hands and it doesn’t smell, that’s pretty good,” Van De Pol said. “As more people become educated, they’re saying, ‘Hey, where can I get this fuel?’”

Neste MY Renewable Diesel Fuel is now available at the Keyes Van De Pol cardlock to public and private fleets in the area. The Neste-branded pumps are the first in the San Joaquin Valley, and just the second in the state. For more information on Neste MY, and to learn how your fleet can make the switch, visit NesteMY.com.