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CNG, LNG Transportation Fuel Markets Get Boost

So far June has turned up the heat on the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel with a merger in the compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling sector and additional production capacity for a transportation supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

North Carolina-based Gilbarco Veeder-Root, a provider of retail CNG fueling technology, said it had acquired privately held ANGI Energy Systems, a CNG fueling designer/manufacturer. ANGI will become part of Gilbarco, maintaining its name as a division in the acquiring company and keeping its Janesville, WI, operating base.

Separately, Applied LNG earlier in June completed building its second LNG production train at Topock, AZ, at the California-Arizona border. The new liquefaction production train has a 86,000 gal/d capacity, bringing Applied's total daily capacity to 170,000 gallons.

No terms were disclosed in the Gilbarco purchase, but company officials said the acquisition "signals Gilbarco's commitment to support the growing CNG market and its increasing importance as a transportation fuel." The added operation provides Gilbarco with "significant expansion potential," ranging from municipal and home-based fueling equipment as well as retail installations, a company spokesperson said.

ANGI Vice President Jared Hightower said Gilbarco is a leader in liquid fuels, while his firm is a leader in CNG. "This is a further indication that CNG is a mainstream fuel."

Gilbarco plans to integrate the ANGI fueling products with its "Encore CNG" dispenser, offering its CNG customers "an improved consumer experience" that integrates payment, merchandising and loyalty programs. ANGI's recently expanded sales force will stay in place under Gilbarco.

Gilbarco North America President Stephen Moule said ANGI brings additional expertise to the merged company.

In Arizona, Applied CEO Cem Hacioglu said the additional capacity at the Topock LNG production plant provides momentum for the company's planned expansion into Texas, where it has acquired 31 acres in Midlothian on which to develop five liquefiers. Hacioglu said his company intends to be able to store up to 1.5 million gallons of LNG at the site.

Applied's first 86,000 gal/d liquefier at Midlothian is scheduled to begin production early next year, Hacioglu said.

On the Topock expansion, the construction was completed "in record time, at a fraction of the costs of similar projects, and with no accidents or injuries," Hacioglu said.

Elsewhere in the CNG arena, Parker Hannifin and partner Autocar said they have added a new CNG Autocar E3 trash truck with Parker's fuel- and brake-saving RunWise hydraulic hybrid drive. More than 100 of the commercial CNG/diesel-fueled hydraulic hybrids have been sold to refuse operators, the company said.

The CNG hybrid prototype has now completed a month of initial trials with Republic Services in Chula Vista, CA, in San Diego County, and Parker Hannifin officials said they were pleased with the initial results. "Test data shows that the RunWise system is delivering up to 20% incremental fuel savings over traditional CNG trucks and a 10% improvement in productivity," said Parker General Manager Shane Terblanche.

Up the road in central California, Trillium CNG opened a new fueling station at the Roche Oil Pacific Pride facilities on the south side of Tulare, CA, serving California's central valley along Highway 99 connecting Fresno and Bakersfield.

The new Trillium station has been targeted as the potential primary fueling location for a 17-CNG vehicle fleet operated by Northwest Food Products Transportation in the agriculture and fossil fuel-dominated central valley.

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