Shell and its affiliates have signed a memorandum of understanding with TravelCenters of America LLC (TA) to sell liquefied natural gas (LNG) to heavy-duty road transport customers in the US through TA’s existing nationwide network of full-service fueling centers. Pending final agreements, the proposed plans include constructing more than 200 LNG fuel lanes at about 100 TA sites and Petro Stopping Centers throughout the US interstate highway system. If a final agreement is reached, the first of the LNG fuel lanes are expected to become operational in 2013.
“Using natural gas for transport gives truck fleet operators a new strong advantage because it’s abundant and affordable and a viable alternative to diesel,” said Elen Phillips, Vice President, Shell Fuels Sales & Marketing North America. “This potential alliance with TA would enable Shell to deliver LNG fuel to customers who want a competitively priced fuel option to help them meet increasingly stringent air quality emission standards.”
Demand for innovative fuels, like LNG fuel, from heavy-duty road transport customers is growing due, in part, to the wide range of benefits for trucking fleet operators. These benefits can include lower fuel costs and improved local air quality from reduced emissions at the point of use, particularly nitrogen oxide as well as reduced noise levels.
“Shell sees great potential for LNG as a fuel option among our range of quality fuels, due to the sheer abundance and affordability of domestic natural gas in North America. Where it makes sense and where there is customer demand, we will innovate to deliver LNG as an additional fuel offer to our customers across America.” concluded Phillips.
The agreement with TA, the largest full-service truck stop chain in the US, represents the next phase for Shell in its plan to provide trucking fleet customers in North America with a robust fueling infrastructure. Last year, Shell announced it would sell LNG to its heavy-duty fleet customers at select Flying J truck stops in Alberta, Canada beginning in 2012.
The first LNG retail plaza in Calgary is expected to open this year. Both these announcements help demonstrate how Shell is moving forward in its strategy to develop a global downstream LNG fuel sales business for commercial customers in the truck sector but also other growth areas notably marine, mining and rail.
Shell, supplier of more than 30% of the world’s LNG, is expanding its operations to the small-scale, transport sectors with fuel storage, handling and transport.
(This article compiled using information from a Shell press release)