‘Operators Are Seeing the Enormous Benefits of Converting’
Executing a strategy revealed late in 2010 (F&F Strategies, January 3, 2011), Clean Energy says it’s added more “trucking fleets which transport products for some of the country’s largest and most well-known brands” to its natural gas customer list.
“With the availability of a new class of heavy-duty natural gas trucks as well as more fueling stations, regional and national trucking operators are seeing the enormous benefits of converting to natural gas as their transportation fuel,” chief marketing officer Jim Harger said in a release.
A previously disclosed Clean Energy customer – Lakeland, Fla.-based Saddle Creek Logistics – is doubling its CNG fleet. The others named by Clean Energy on Friday are Atlanta-based Premier Transportation, Ulysses, Pa.-based Hoopes Turf Farm, Needham, Mass.-based Lily Transportation, and Jessup, Md.-based., Lancaster Foods, a unit of Guest Services.
CNG for Some LNG for Some
Some, like Saddle Creek, have contracted with Clean Energy for compressed natural gas, others are expected to make use of liquefied natural gas at Clean Energy stations along the budding “America’s Natural Gas Highway,” Clean Energy’s planned network of LNG truck fueling stations: 150 in 33 states for completion by the end of 2013.
Saddle Creek Logistics
Clean Energy says it’s expanded an already publicized contract with Saddle Creek to build additional private CNG fueling stations to support an expanding fleet of for-hire trucks. Nearly simultaneously, Freightliner said that Saddle Creek is doubling its fleet of CNG trucks, to 80. Clean Energy said Saddle Creek’s CNG fleet is projected to grow to 120.
Clean Energy reports a national CNG fueling contract with Premier Transportation, which provides transport and logistics solutions to the retail department store and consumer products industries. Premier has deployed a new fleet of CNG-powered heavy-duty Freightliners in the Atlanta area. “Expanding to major U.S. metropolitan areas over time, Premier CNG trucks will fuel at Clean Energy’s national network of public access CNG stations,” Clean Energy said.
Premier chairman and CEO, Mike Medici cited “a hedge against rising fuel costs,” and said the CNG fleet helps support “the sustainability objectives of our retail industry customers.”
Massachusetts-headquartered Lily Transportation recently deployed a new fleet of CNG-powered trucks to serve one of its supply chain customers in the Los Angeles area, Clean Energy says – in line with such equipment and practices as slotted mud-flaps, limited top speeds, minimized idle time and aerodynamically fitted tractor trailers and trucks. Lily will use public-access Clean Energy CNG stations.
“We believe that natural gas will become the preferred fuel for transporters,” said Lily president and CEO John Simourian.
Hoopes Turf Farm
Pennsylvania’s Hoopes is a family-owned sod production and contract truck transportation company with ten LNG trucks in service now and plans to transition its entire fleet of 50 trucks to LNG.
“The Hoopes LNG fleet will increasingly rely on Clean Energy’s network of public access LNG fueling stations,” Clean Energy says.
Guest Services subsidiary Lancaster Foods is the largest wholesale produce company in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region, Clean Energy says, and it’s testing a pair of CNG-fueled refrigerated trucks that will fuel at Clean Energy’s public access station at BWI, the Baltimore/Washington International Airport.
If all goes well, “We’re likely to convert a substantial part of our fleet to CNG,” Guest Services sustainability VP Doug Verner told F&F.
Scott Richardson is Lancaster Foods operations VP.
Clean Energy Fuels
“We fuel over 530 fleet customers and 25,000 vehicles at more than 273 strategic locations across the country, with a broad customer base in the refuse, transit, trucking, shuttle, taxi, airport and municipal fleet markets,” Clean Energy (NASDAQ:CLNE) said Friday.
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