HOUSTON, Texas — GE and Clean Energy Fuels are collaborating to expand the infrastructure for natural gas transportation in the US. Officials say the agreement will support Clean Energy’s efforts in developing a fuelling network to enable trucks to operate using liquefied natural gas (LNG) coast-to-coast and border-to-border.
As part of the collaboration, Clean Energy Fuels will initially purchase two ecomagination-qualified MicroLNG plants from GE Oil and Gas. The plug-and-play modular units, which are designed to rapidly liquefy natural gas while minimizing a site’s physical footprint, will support fuelling stations along “critical transportation corridors” that run across the US. GE Energy Financial Services will be providing up to $200 million in financing for the two GE MicroLNG plants.
“GE is proud to be partnering with Clean Energy Fuels to develop natural gas infrastructure in the US. Clean Energy is an industry leader in pioneering a new way for America to fuel its vehicles and to further gain energy independence,” said GE chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “With an abundance of cleaner, more affordable natural gas here in the US, this is an important opportunity for GE to join Clean Energy in changing the way America drives. It’s also a critical step in developing a natural gas-for-transportation fuel model that can be easily exported to other countries interested in exactly these kinds of breakthrough projects.”
Clean Energy expects to complete approximately 70 LNG stations by the end of 2012, with more planned for next year to serve the movement of goods along major transportation corridors throughout the US.
Officials also pointed out that in 2013, four major manufacturers will introduce the Cummins Westport 12-litre LNG engine for Class 8 trucks.
Clean Energy plans to use a standardized design of the new GE MicroLNG plants to build additional MicroLNG plants. These first two MicroLNG plants will produce up to 250,000 gallons per day. The plant is designed to be expanded up to one million gallons per day as adoption and demand increases. The LNG produced by the MicroLNG plants will be used primarily at Pilot-Flying J truck stops. The two GE MicroLNG plants are targeted to begin operation in 2015. The two companies are currently assessing the best locations for these first two LNG plants.
“The agreement announced today with GE is one of the most significant milestones in Clean Energy’s history,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO of Clean Energy Fuels. “As the long-haul trucking industry begins its transition to natural gas, it will be critical to have a reliable supply of LNG. No other company is as uniquely qualified as GE to help address this need due to its vast experience in energy, technology innovations and financing capabilities. GE partnering with Clean Energy on these two facilities will not only help ensure an adequate LNG supply for our stations, but it is another confirmation that the transition to natural gas as a transportation fuel is gaining momentum.”
“GE is committed to natural gas. From extraction to transport to power generation – we continue to develop solutions that infuse new technologies into the value chain and help improve every step of the natural gas development and deployment life cycle,” said Dan Heintzelman, president and CEO of GE Oil and Gas. “Our ecomagination-qualified MicroLNG plant was born from the same turbomachinery technology that has made GE a success in large LNG compression such as in the world-scale plants in Qatar and Australia. By taking this technology and reengineering it so that it’s modular and highly efficient, we are able to help customers such as Clean Energy deliver this abundant and cleaner fuel source to the market.”