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NatGas Fueling Network Expands

Separate deals in Florida, Texas and Nebraska announced last week could begin to expand the highway for natural gas vehicles (NGV).

A joint venture between Trillium CNG and Amp Americas (Amp-Trillium) struck a deal with dairy cooperatives Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers to convert fleets to run on compressed natural gas (CNG). The venture involves building seven fueling stations in Texas to support 40 CNG trucks.

Amp-Trillium would build seven Texas public access stations in Waco, Amarillo, Harrold, Sweetwater, Weatherford, Kerrville and Midland, which initially would fuel 40 Class 8 Kenworth and Peterbilt CNG trucks. The fleet would double over the life of the agreement.

Amp CEO Nathan Laurell said the transaction would build "a network of public, fast-fill CNG stations across all of the major Texas corridors that can be used by any fleet running trucks across the state." Trillium CEO Mary Boettcher added that the stations were essential to keep up with "rapidly increasing demand for CNG cars and trucks."

Meanwhile, Clean Energy Fuels Corp. signed a multi-year deal with Raven Transport Inc. for two liquefied natural gas fueling stations in Florida and Ohio. The "natural gas highway" is a marketing push was introduced in 2011 to build up to 150 stations (see NGIAug. 29, 2011). Raven has 36 LNG tractor trucks that haul consumer goods through Georgia and across the Midwest, which together consume nearly 1 million diesel-gallons-equivalent of LNG annually, the company said.

Also last week Troy, NE-based United Farmers Cooperative (UFC) plans to open its first CNG fueling station in November at a Sapp Brothers Travel Stop in Lincoln under the Stirk CNG name. Under this brand, UFC plans to build a network of through J & J Compression.

"Drawing in part on know-how used to convert irrigation and other stationary engines from diesel to natural gas operations, UFC-Stirk plans to convert trucks to fuel operation," said UFC Vice President Dick Munn. UFC recently converted trucks to operate on diesel and CNG.

UFC is getting financing help to convert to CNG, and it plans to have additional capital to convert all of its vehicles. ANGI Systems is providing the compression equipment, and Stirk indicated that eventually it may offer LNG. 

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