Adds 13 Fueling Stations in 2012, Boasts Nearly 1,700 Trucks
Waste Management opened 13 compressed natural gas fueling stations in the U.S. in the first half of 2012, of which nine offer public access. The firm also said last week that it has nearly 1,700 natural gas trucks – it celebrated deployment of the 1,000th just over one year ago in California (F&F, July 18, 2011).
The addition of 13 new CNG stations brings the firm’s natural gas fueling station tally to 31, “with another 17 either in operation or in construction by the end of 2012,” for a total of nearly 50.
The 13 are located in Mesa, Ariz.; Pompano Beach and Venice, Fla.; Stickney, Ill.; Louisville, Ky.; Baltimore; Blaine, Minn.; Portland, Ore.; Washington, Pa.; West Jordan, Utah; Conroe, Texas; and in Auburn and Woodinville, Wash.
The station in Louisville, announced August 3, supports “a new local fleet of 25 clean-burning CNG trucks,” and is the first 24/7 public-access CNG feeling installation in the Kentucky town.
Waste Management notes that it owns the stations, purchases the fuel, and finances station construction. It also enters into maintenance contracts with third party companies. “This strategy allows WM to secure better natural gas prices in the long run,” the company says.
Time-Fill CNG Found Best
WM’s preference, also to reduce cost, is to time-fill its trucks according to a set schedule. The trucks carry approximately 70 diesel gallon equivalents of CNG – a DGE capacity that allows them to run for 10 to 12 hours and complete a typical day’s waste or recycling collection route.
The public access stations that serve commercial and consumer vehicles include fast-fill capability. The self-service Clean N’ Green Fuel stations, run in association with PetroCard, are open 24/7 and accept major credit cards as well as fleet cards. The new station in Louisville will accept Clean N’ Green, Wright Express, Voyager and Fuelman fleet cards.
“These facilities will serve our rapidly growing CNG powered collection fleet,” Waste Management fleet and logistics Eric Woods says in a release. “Facilities with publicly accessible stations offer fueling solutions to other corporate fleets and consumers as more and more North Americans turn to vehicles fueled by CNG,” he said.
Most NGVs in North American Waste
Waste Management says that its fleet of nearly 1,700 CNG and liquefied natural gas vehicles is the largest in North American waste industry. Although it produces its own LNG from landfill gas in California (enough for the daily operations of some 300 natural gas vehicles), the firm has found with experience that CNG works better than LNG for its collection fleet.
As LNG trucks are phased out, stations that formerly dispensed the cryogenic fuel are being converted to LCNG operation, with vaporization hardware allowing for onsite production of the compressed variant from existing LNG storage vessels.
“In 2012, natural gas vehicles will represent 80% of Waste Management’s annual new truck purchases and continue for the next five years,” the company said last week. The vehicles eliminate many thousands of gallons of diesel fuel and associated pollution, and are “significantly quieter” than diesels.
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Source: Waste Management announcement and Fleets & Fuels follow-up