150 LNG Truck Fueling Stations Enabling Goods Movement
Coast-to-Coast and Border-to-Border Anticipated by End of 2013
The route plan for the first phase of 150 new LNG fueling stations for America’s Natural Gas Highway (ANGH) was unveiled on January 12, by Clean Energy Fuels Corp., provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America. The company has identified 98 locations and anticipates having 70 stations open by the end of 2012 in 33 states.
Many of the fueling stations will be co-located at Pilot-Flying J Travel Centers already serving goods movement trucking through an exclusive agreement with Pilot to build, own and operate natural gas fueling facilities at agreed-upon travel centers. Pilot-Flying J is the nation’s largest truck-stop operator with more than 550 retail properties in 47 states.
Major highway segments planned for early opening include, among others, those linking San Diego-Los Angeles-Riverside-Las Vegas; the Texas Triangle (Houston-San Antonio-Dallas/Ft. Worth); Los Angeles-Dallas; Houston-Chicago; Chicago-Atlanta; and a network of stations along major highways in the mid-west region (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Montana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama) to serve the heavy trucking traffic in the area.
Scheduled for completion during 2012 and 2013, the 150 first-phase stations coincide with the expected arrival of new natural gas truck engines well suited for heavy-duty, over-the-road trucking. Engine manufacturers and original equipment truck manufacturers such as Cummins-Westport, Kenworth, Peterbilt, Navistar, Freightliner and Caterpillar are expected to have Class-8 trucks available in engine sizes allowing for varied road and driving requirements.
“We are moving quickly to build this important network in order to support the new trucks,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, Clean Energy’s President and CEO. “Already, Clean Energy has engaged over 100 shippers, private fleets and for-hire carriers that have shared their operations to qualify the economic opportunity of operating natural gas trucks, which has helped us, in turn, plan the first phase of the natural gas fueling highway.”
Littlefair noted that the ANGH stations are in addition to the station building planned for the company’s traditional markets in transit, refuse, airport/taxi/shuttle and local/regional trucking, which activity accounted for 63 station projects in 2011.
In July 2011, in a major alliance supporting the transition of trucking from diesel to natural gas fuel, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the nation’s second largest natural gas producer, committed an investment of $150 million in Clean Energy to help fund the development of America’s Natural Gas Highway. In September 2011, a group of international investors committed an additional $150 million, and in December 2011, another $150 million was invested, bringing the total investment in Clean Energy in 2011 for fueling station infrastructure development and other capital projects to $450 million.
Currently priced up to $1.50 per gallon lower than diesel or gasoline (depending upon local markets), the use of natural gas fuel reduces costs significantly for vehicle and fleet owners, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions approximately 23% in medium to heavy-duty vehicles. Additionally, natural gas is a secure North American energy source with 98% of the natural gas consumed produced in the U.S. and Canada.
(This article compiled using information from a Clean Energy press release)