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Tenaska Launches NatGas Fuel Transportation Arm

Independent energy provider Tenaska last week launched Tenaska NG Fuels LLC to provide compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the natural gas vehicle (NGV) transportation and industrial sectors.

Doug Clark, who chairs NGVAmerica, will lead the commercial endeavor based in Omaha. Clark, who previously was president of the Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) also based in Omaha, cited the "proliferation of shale gas production" as the main driver in the gas transportation fuel sector. "MUD saw this and set out to be the leading provider of natural gas fuels to the transportation industry in the Midwest," he said.

In other news, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) changed requirements for certifying NGV upfitting equipment. CARB amended its alternative fuel conversion certification procedures to allow "small-volume conversion manufacturers to reduce upfront domestication requirements," allowing systems to be sold sooner with lower costs for certification than was possible under the old process.

CARB allowed small-volume manufacturers to request waivers for certain testing/demonstration requirements; add options in making required demonstrations; request conditional executive orders when streamlined demonstrations cannot be used; and permit conversion systems that are approved with new vehicle testing to be sold for used vehicle conversions.Last month General Electric (GE) affiliates Clean Energy and Ferus Natural Gas Fuels also formed a consortium to develop facilities to serve the same industrial sectors that Tenaska is pursuing (see NGISept. 23).

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. also said it now is providing renewable natural gas, or biomethane, for vehicles. "Redeem," made from waste streams such as landfills, large dairies and sewage plants, would be offered at stations around the country. The biomethane supplies come via displacement since current production facilities are far removed from the West Coast.

"We're able to work with our gas traders and agents to move our product from where we inject it [in the interstate pipeline grid] to the California market and sell in our stations here," said Clean Energy Renewable Fuels President Harrison Clay. "This is similar to how natural gas and electricity are traded on the national grid." Biomethane supplies are "indefinitely available," and he estimated that about 25% of U.S. diesel fuel consumption on an energy-equivalent basis can be supplied by organic waste streams and biomethane assuming technological advances in the future.

In addition, Ryder System said it has marked 15 million miles for its NGV fleet, which includes 36 LNG and 284 CNG tractor trucks. And a unit of GE shipped 20 CNG in A Box skid-mounted fueling stations to British Columbia-based Chelsea Natural Gas, its first shipment into Canada. 

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