Seattle, WA-based Plum Energy LLC said Thursday that Avista Capital — a subsidiary of Spokane, WA-based Avista Corp. — has acquired a 20% equity stake in the company, which is engaged in the development of small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) value chains.

Plum Energy focuses its LNG operations on distributed applications where volumes of less than 150,000 gallons/d meet the needs of customers in displacing traditional fuels like diesel and gasoline with natural gas. These types of applications include mining, oil and gas drilling, transportation, agriculture and other off-the-grid industrial or manufacturing operations.

“Small-scale LNG offers customers a game-changing source of lower cost, clean burning natural gas for all kinds of commercial and industrial uses,” said CEO Kirt Montague. “Avista’s investment affirms the direction of our company and gives us the means to extend the value of LNG to a broader customer base in North America.”

Roger Woodworth, chief strategy officer for Avista, said, “This fits well with our strategy to make targeted investments to help us gain valuable insights into building new growth platforms. The LNG solutions that Plum Energy offers its customers align well with our company’s focus on using domestic natural gas, and LNG in particular, to reduce our dependence on foreign oil with a clean fuel that’s also competitively priced.”

Montague, who founded Plum Energy in 2011, previously was the founder and CEO of Prometheus Energy, which he led from its inception in 2003 through the sale of a majority interest of its equity to the Shell Technology Venture Fund in late 2010.