[caption]A Clean Energy Fuels facility.[/caption]
Clean Energy Fuels is expanding its U.S. natural gas network, opening 27 fueling stations in the first half of 2014, including nine “truck friendly” stations along interstate highways.
The scarcity of fueling stations is a roadblock to expanding the use of liquid or compressed natural gas as over-the-road truck fuels, but the natural gas fueling network is growing.
Newport Beach, California-based Clean Energy opened 55 CNG stations and 19 LNG stations in 2013, operating nearly 500 stations offering one or both of the natural gas fuels.
In the past few months, Clean Energy has won new truck fleet customers and expanded its business with existing trucking operators such as Saddle Creek Transportation.
Lakeland, Florida-based Saddle Creek plans to add 25 heavy-duty CNG Freightliner tractors to its existing fleet of 150 CNG vehicles to meet rising demand for “sustainable” transportation.
|JOC Senior Editor William B. Cassidy is given a tour of a CNG tractor by Saddle Creek Logistics Services’ Brad Rolland at NASSTRAC in 2012.|
“Our customers recognize the importance of sustainability in their supply chain and the value in moving goods with natural gas,” Michael DelBovo, president of Saddle Creek, said last month.
In July, Clean Energy said it would double Saddle Creek’s existing CNG fueling capacity in Lakeland with two additional 300-horsepower compressors and 55 new time-fill fueling points.
Saddle Creek has sent CNG trucks as far as San Diego, running several cross-country trips along the I-10 corridor between Florida and California for two shipper customers.
Clean Energy has signed up new customers this summer as well, including G&P Trucking, Interstate Distributor and Raven Transport, all of which plan to operate LNG trucks.
Some of the push for CNG and LNG use is coming from shippers, carrier executives said.
“More of our customers are pursuing natural gas fueling solutions to meet sustainability goals,” said Clifton Parker, president of truckload carrier G&P Trucking, based in Gaston, South Carolina.