American dairy-based food and beverage company Dean Foods has contracted Clean Energy Fuels to construct a compressed natural gas (CNG) station at its Oak Farms Dairy plant in Houston, Texas. Beginning in the second half of 2015, the station will be used to fuel the CNG vehicles deployed by Dean Foods.
Over the next several months, Dean Foods will introduce 57 CNG Freightliner M2-112 straight trucks and 7 Freightliner Cascadia over-the-road tractors powered by the Cummins ISL-G and ISX12-G engines, respectively and outfitted with Agility Fuel Systems CNG fuel tanks.
“We see the value a cleaner and more cost-effective fuel can provide to our company, our stakeholders and our community,” said Mike Ahart, Vice President, Dean Foods. “We are pleased to add these natural gas vehicles as a component of our ongoing sustainable business practices.” As part of its overall greenhouse gas reduction goal, Dean Foods set a goal in 2008 to reduce its distribution fleet’s CO2e emissions by 50,000 metric tons by 2013 – a goal surpassed by the end of 2010. The goal was revised in 2012 to reduce distribution emissions 95,000 metric tons by 2020.
Station construction is scheduled to be completed by the second half of the year. The facility will be engineered with the ability to expand to accommodate fueling a fleet of 120 CNG commercial vehicles.
“The introduction of natural gas into the fuel mix of the Oak Farms Dairy fleet is a positive step and we are eager to help this industry-leading company succeed with CNG,” said Chad Lindholm, Vice President, Clean Energy.
A grant covering a portion of the vehicle costs has been provided to Dean Foods under the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program (TNGVGP), funded by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TECQ). Through this voluntary grant program, monies are provided to reduce nitrogen oxide emission by replacing older diesel engines with cleaner-burning natural gas engines.
Natural gas fuel costs up to $1.00 less per gallon than gasoline or diesel, depending on local market conditions. The use of natural gas fuel not only reduces operating costs for vehicles, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 30% in light-duty vehicles and 23% in medium to heavy-duty vehicles. In addition, nearly all natural gas consumed in North America is produced domestically.
(Source: Clean Energy Fuels – an NGV Global Sponsor)