Reinforcing a growing trend toward dual natural gas transportation fueling outlets, a Los Angeles industrial suburb, the City of Commerce, on Monday opened a fueling station offering both compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). The new term is LCNG fueling, according to Seal Beach, CA-based Clean Energy Fuels Inc., which is providing the LNG and operating/maintenance at the station under contract to the city.

After 10 years of planning, the City of Commerce built the facility and will own it, principally for the use of its CNG-powered fleet of seven transit and four smaller buses. The LNG option is being included because there are a number of commercial trucking fleets in the area that run on that version of natural gas transportation.

LNG trucks from the Long Beach/Los Angeles ports, natural gas-powered refuse vehicles and private and municipal natural gas fleet vehicles will use the station, a Clean Energy spokesperson said.

In the LCNG facilities the fuel is trucked in as LNG and for Commerce that will mean about three deliveries a month, the Clean Energy spokesperson said. Some of the regasified LNG is compressed into the CNG supplies, the spokesperson said. In either gaseous or liquid state, Clean Energy is selling hundreds of millions of gallons-equivalent of natural gas for transportation in its growing national network of stations (see Daily GPI, Feb. 26).

Earlier this year Clean Energy released its plans to build LNG refueling stations throughout the region along the main trucking corridors between Los Angeles, San Diego and points to the east in the Inland Empire of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. A backbone of hub LNG stations is envisioned, the company said.

For the City of Commerce the new station is not only an advance for fleet transportation but also what city officials see as an important means to reducing air pollution in the city and surrounding southeast Los Angeles County communities. The fueling facility is being built with future expansion in mind, a Clean Energy spokesperson said, noting that there are currently four CNG hoses and one LNG outlet, but both numbers can and will be expanded as the use of natural gas in vehicles continues to grow.

"The station was really sized to get things going, and then as the demand picks up in the future, the city can put in additional infrastructure," said Derek Turbide, a Clean Energy spokesperson. Turbide also said there are a number of existing stations being converted into LCNG dual fueling facilities.

Some of the largest infrastructure for natural gas transportation fueling has been established at the combined Long Beach/Los Angeles ports where there are currently six LNG dispensers and three CNG outlets.

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