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Texas Gets New LNG Production Site for Transportation

Applied Natural Gas Fuels (ANGF) recently completed a purchase of 31 acres in Midlothian, TX, for a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility that is expected to open early next year.

ANGF said the new liquefaction plant for making LNG for use in transportation and other sectors will include five liquefaction units, each able to produce 86,000 gallons of fuel daily, and total onsite storage of 1.5 million LNG gallons.

In preparation of building the facility, which was announced last September, ANGF has purchase orders for all long-lead time items, such as storage tanks, production skids and electric motors and compressors, the company said.

The plant seeks to supply both road transportation and other off-road high-horsepower applications, such as rail, marine, mining, remote power generation and oilfield exploration/production (E&P) operations.

ANGF CEO Cem Hacioglu called the Texas LNG production site a "perfect location," having all of the amenities to build a state-of-the-art plant. From the Westlake Village, CA-based fuel supplier's perspective, the location has strategic value because it is near a variety of markets in addition to the transportation sector.

The expansion into Texas comes at a time when ANGF is doubling the production capacity at its existing Topock, AZ, plant at the California-Arizona border, adding a second liquefier, which is set to come online in July, Hacioglu said.

When the new Texas plant is fully operational, ANGF will have a company-wide production capacity of more than 600,000 LNG gallons/day.

Beyond LNG, the alternative fuels space produced additional technology and marketing advances earlier this month for both compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane. Both are increasingly viable for fleet operators, some of which operate with both types of vehicles, along with some dual-fuel vehicles.

Forty McNeilus Bridgemaster CNG ready-mix cement trucks with Cummins Westport ISX 12 G engines were delivered to Houston-based Argos USA, the first CNG mixers deployed by Argos and the first to use the 11.9-liter ISX 12 G engines in Peterbilt chassis featuring the McNeilus NGen brand next-generation CNG fuel system.

Argos USA's Daryl Mizell, sourcing manager, said the company "challenged several manufacturers" to come up with a "well-configured" CNG ready-mix vehicle. From those discussions, Argos selected the McNeilus CNG package, Mizell said.

Another major transporter, Minnesota-based Bay & Bay, recently deployed two Freightliner CNG Cascadia tractor-trailers with the 11.9-liter ISX G engines from Cummins Westport. The CNG trucks are running 22 hours daily, seven days a week doing heavy load, dedicated short-haul routes in Minnesota and neighboring Wisconsin, Bay & Bay officials said.

In the dual-fuel arena, both CNG and propane are gaining ground. American Power Group's APG Turbocharged Natural Gas System has gear that allows older diesel trucks to retrofit the APG equipment and operate on a combination of diesel and CNG. Iowa-based W.W. Transport recently ordered 10 of the APG dual fuel systems for some of its fleet operating in Illinois.

Washington state-based LP Energy Systems has a new dual fuel system involving propane and diesel or gasoline vehicles. LP installs a sensor and boost pressure control for diesel engines, and a vacuum sensor and control for gasoline engines, said LP Energy President Bill Farrell, who touts returns on investment in the dual-fuel systems in as little as six months for typical fleet operators.

Further evidence that propane can compete with LNG and CNG in transportation in some applications, Los Angeles-based satellite television provider Dish Network is unveiling a new fleet of 47 propane-powered service vans on Friday in Southern California. In addition to its Los Angeles fleet, the satellite TV provider has 22 propane vehicles operating in Detroit and another 44 in Atlanta.

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