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LNG Fuel Consortium Chooses Florida for First Project

A consortium involving units of General Electric Corp. (GE) and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. announced Wednesday the first in a series of small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facilities they hope to develop will be sited in Florida.

Eagle LNG Partners, a creation of GE, Clean Energy and Ferus Natural Gas Fuels (see Daily GPI,Sept. 23), has selected a site in Jacksonville, FL, to develop a 300,000 gallon/d production facility to supply various modes of transportation, including heavy-duty trucking, rail and marine transport.

Clean Energy said it was pursuing customers in an open season to account for the remaining available capacity in the new facility. The companies did not say how much remaining capacity there is.

Construction of the Jacksonville production facility on the St. Johns River is expected to start in the second quarter of 2015 and be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015. The companies did not disclose financial details on the production facility, which will produce nearly twice as much LNG as a site Clean Energy now operates in California.

When the partners announced the formation of Eagle LNG, they said that they intended to pursue the growing LNG market for heavy-duty truck fleets. They also indicated that they would pursue oil and natural gas services applications, along with mining and marine.

Jacksonville has emerged as a leading contender to facilitate LNG in maritime applications due to its core of shipping companies that are increasing their orders for LNG-fueled ships to service Caribbean markets, such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Clean Energy said.

LNG is gaining traction in the marine sector as the 2015 target date nears for establishing the North American Emission Control Area, the International Maritime Organization's global air pollution control program limiting sulfur emissions and effectively banning the use of bunker fuel within 200 miles of the U.S. shores.

Clean Energy's Brian Powers, vice president for LNG production, said the Jacksonville location is part of a "critical strategic effort" to enable more LNG fueling throughout the Southeast. Powers predicted that the Eagle LNG Partners project could establish the Port of Jacksonville as a leader in natural gas maritime fueling.

Sanjay Bishnoi, senior director at GE Ventures, called the Jacksonville project "a strong first step" that puts the Eastern Seaboard and Southeast regions "in play" for future LNG fueling applications.

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