A subsidiary of Newport Beach, CA-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. said Thursday it has signed a three-year, $167 million deal with a Chinese-based natural gas/propane pipeline company to provide up to 416 compressed natural gas (CNG) compressors and related technologies to support development of more than 300 CNG fueling stations throughout China. Growth of CNG in China is expected to outpace U.S. expansion, Clean Energy executives said.

Under the agreement, Clean Energy's IMW Industries Ltd. will provide the CNG equipment to China Gas Holdings Ltd, which invests in, builds and maintains natural gas and propane pipeline distribution systems for cities in China. China Gas Holdings' Liu Ming Hui, managing director, said IMW should help his company meet China's "growing transportation needs in an environmentally responsible manner."

IMW will be providing in addition to the CNG compression equipment gas fuel dryers (186), fuel dispensers (527), and 387,500 liters of CNG storage capacity. This is all targeted for China Gas Holdings' joint venture partners in the proposed construction of up to 310 CNG fueling stations.

"China has grasped the potential of natural gas as an alternative to gasoline and diesel fuel and is aggressively building the necessary infrastructure to realize this potential," said Clean Energy CEO Andrew Littlefair. "In the coming years, China Gas and its partners plan to construct the equivalent of over half of all the public access CNG stations currently available in the United States, significant for our companies and the future of cleaner transportation in China."

 China Gas has secured financing for this transaction from Export Development Canada, which is expected to be used throughout the three-year deal to help purchase the products and services under the purchase contract, Clean Energy said. An initial $5 million has been utilized for the purchase of 29 CNG compressors that are slated to be delivered during the fourth quarter of 2013 and used to construct the first 19 stations.