As another sign that the vision of a “natural gas highway” for long-haul trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles is taking shape, Southern California-based Applied Natural Gas Fuels Inc. said it plans to double the output capability of its Topock, AZ, liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility.

The Southwest-focused LNG transportation fuel supplier with ties to developing and operating public access fueling stations for natural gas vehicles (NGV) will add a second liquefaction train at Topock, eventually expanding its overall production capability from 90,000 gallons/day (gal/d) to 180,000 gal/d by early 2014.

At the same time, storage capacity will double to 200,000 gallons by March 2013. Current LNG storage is100,000 gallons.

A Southern California-based competitor, Seal Beach-headquartered Clean Energy Fuels Corp., last year kicked off a national effort to provide a network of LNG fueling stations along major highways to cater to growing LNG-fueled long-haul trucking fleets (see Daily GPI, Aug. 25, 2011).

In the LNG supply business since 1995, Applied has a fleet of 34 LNG tanker trailers serving customers primarily in the Southwest states. The expanded facilities in Topock will include a second load rack for the trucks.

Applied CEO Cem Hacioglu told trade news media recently that he is looking for other opportunities to develop production facilities in other parts of the country. The company’s subsidiary Applied LNG Technologies (ALT) provides both LNG and compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel and delivery systems.

Hacioglu said ALT will exceed a half-million gallons in storage capacity by 2014. Through its Fleet Star outlets, Applied offers LNG and what it calls “LNG-derived CNG” at retail outlets in Barstow and Ontario, CA, along the main interstate highway (15) between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Two years ago, Salt Lake City-based Questar Corp.’s subsidiary Questar Transportation Services Co. (QTS) and ALT signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly explore market opportunities for LNG in the Rockies (see Daily GPI, July16, 2010).

QTS now is a natural gas midstream field services operator, which includes gas gathering and processing services. ALT, a subsidiary of Applied Natural Gas Fuels Inc., produces and distributes transportation- and industrial-grade LNG on the West Coast and in the Southwest.

At the time, QTS and ALT said they intended to “accelerate market expansion of LNG products and services in the Rockies, primarily in the transportation and manufacturing sectors,” but so far the business framework has yet to produce anything.

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