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'NatGas Highway' Opens Southwest Link, Fuel Supplier Says

A southwest link between Los Angeles and Houston on what is billed as "America's Natural Gas Highway" has been established with the opening of a fueling station in El Paso, TX, according to fuel supplier and station developer Clean Energy Fuels Corp. of Newport Beach, CA.

The completed link enables heavy-duty liquefied natural gas (LNG) truck fueling along more than 1,500 miles of Interstate Highway 10, the transcontinental highway between California and Florida.

In addition, on Tuesday Clean Energy said it had opened additional natural gas vehicle (NGV) fueling stations and/or begun construction to support a growing portfolio of NGV customers in the heavy-duty trucking, refuse and ready-mix market sectors.

"One corridor at a time, our nationwide network [see Daily GPI, Aug. 25, 2011] is opening and changing how America moves," said Clean Energy CEO Andrew Littlefair. "The I-10 from Los Angeles to Houston is another link in America's goods-movement infrastructure now fueling with natural gas."

The newly opened El Paso LNG fueling station will be used by EJ Madison's hauling for Cardinal Health, as announced earlier this year in a fueling agreement with Clean Energy. The fleet currently has traveled more than 500,000 miles.

EJ Madison intends to expand this fleet with an additional 30 dual-fuel LNG/diesel trucks in the coming months, according to Clean Energy. El Paso-based Clean Fuel Technologies LLC handled all conversions. Once fully deployed, this fleet is forecasted to consume approximately 336,000 diesel-gallon-equivalents (DGE) of LNG/year.

Additionally in the trucking sector, Clean Energy said it has signed a multi-year fueling deal with Chavez Trucking to open another public access LNG station in West Sacramento, CA, near the state capital. Chavez plans to deploy 15 heavy-duty LNG trucks to haul bulk aggregate materials such as road-building and construction materials. The fleet will consume about 210,000 DGEs/year.

For the refuse sector, Clean Energy said it plans to expand compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling operations with a second facility for New Haven, CT-based All American Waste. The new fueling station will be built and operated by Clean Energy.

The new facility will include 40 time-fill fueling posts for providing CNG to the refuse fleet, along with two public fast-fill dispensers with four fueling hoses. Located in the heart of New Haven, the station is scheduled to open during the fourth quarter.

Six of All American's 40-CNG refuse truck fleet will fuel at the time-fill facility initially, Clean Energy said. "All American Waste and its other affiliates operate throughout Connecticut, and it is evaluating additional CNG sites with Clean Energy," the fuel supplier said.

All American officials said the company is expanding on its commitment last year to "operate cleaner and quieter," and so it views the second New Haven station as an example of further pursuing that goal.

Separately, Clean Energy said it has contracts in the ready-mix sector with Delaware Valley Concrete to fuel the first CNG ready-mix concrete trucks in Pennsylvania. Delaware Valley has taken delivery of the first of five CNG ready-mix trucks in the company's initial move to eventually convert its entire fleet of 88 trucks to natural gas.

Clean Energy said it has a growing network of CNG fueling stops in Pennsylvania, and once Delaware Valley's full NGV fleet is operating, the fuel load will total about 700,000 DGE of CNG for the NGVs operating in the state.

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