Compressed natural gas (CNG) will be used to haul supplies of diesel fuel and gasoline under a partnership between Newport Beach, CA-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. and energy supply/logistics company Mansfield Energy Corp.

The Mansfield Clean Energy Partners (MCEP) would provide natural gas vehicle (NGV) fueling technology to bulk fuel haulers throughout the United States.

Eyeing the bulk fuel hauling sector, which consumes more than 3 billion gallons of fuel annually, the partnership on Tuesday named gas industry veteran Ira Pearl to run MCEP. Pearl is a former vice president of AGL Resources in Atlanta, and Mansfield is headquartered in the area.

MCEP is in "advanced discussions" with several bulk fuel trucking companies representing potentially more than 100 heavy-duty CNG trucks. To support those Class 8 NGV trucks, MCEP plans to develop public-access NGV fueling stations throughout the United States, in addition to immediate development of stations in Atlanta and Florida.

One of the joint venture's first customers is Mansfield Oil Co., one of the nation's largest transportation fuel suppliers. Mansfield Oil has deployed the first of its recently purchased 12 heavy-duty CNG trucks to haul diesel and gasoline for customers in the Southeast region.

"This fleet of CNG trucks will fuel at a new Atlanta-area, card-lock NGV fueling station available to fleets throughout the region," Clean Energy said. Built by Clean Energy, the fueling station is scheduled to open in November.

A second fueling station in Tampa, FL, would support additional Mansfield CNG trucks as well as other regional and national bulk fuel haulers. That facility is expected to open early next year.

Partnering with Clean Energy "is preparing us for the future and will allow other bulk fuel haulers to take advantage of the benefits of natural gas," said Mansfield Energy CEO Michael Mansfield.