Chesapeake Energy continues to deepen its commitment to natural gas vehicles in America, following up its recent $10 million to help 3M commercialize new fuel tanks with a pact with GE to deploy more than 250 “CNG In A Box” fueling stations through a new affiliate dubbed Peake Fuel Solutions.
The compact, modular compressed natural gas units will be unveiled at the NACS 2012 meeting in Las Vegas in early October, says Norman Herrera, a Chesapeake market development director. NACS stands for National Association of Convenience Stores.
GE is also working on a home fueling appliance for CNG.
The Chesapeake-GE pact covers both CNG and liquefied natural gas. It comes in addition to Chesapeake’s $150 million investment in Clean Energy Fuels for a national network of truck stop LNG outlets.
Micro LNG Too
GE this year unveiled a Micro LNG unit under its Ecomagination brand (which encompasses electric vehicle chargers, smart grid products, and dozens of energy-saving technologies, up to and including locomotives and jet engines). GE Micro LNG units could be situated on pipelines and supply liquefied natural gas via truck to sales outlets, including CNG fueling stations, that are not situated on pipelines. Or, they could supply fuel directly to LNG vehicles.
The Chesapeake-GE collaboration marries GE’s oil and gas technology portfolio – broadened last year via GE’s $3 billion acquisition of Dresser, Inc. and the Waukesha natural gas engines line – “with Chesapeake’s expertise in developing innovative fueling solutions to lower the ownership and operational costs of natural gas vehicle fueling stations.
“With the development of shale resources dramatically increasing the amount of low-cost natural gas in North America,” states a release, “the GE-Chesapeake collaboration can help incentivize operators to put more NGVs on the nation’s highways.”
This autumn, the companies says, will see first deployment of GE’s CNG In A Box units. These “will provide the core infrastructure to enable expanded access to CNG at fueling stations and other designated installations.” According to Chesapeake, they include electrically driven Gemini compressors which depending on pipeline pressure will be able to provide CNG from 400 to 950 standard cubic feet per minute. Fuel dispenses at a rate of about 7 gasoline gallon equivalents per minute, the companies say.
The CNG In A Box units – to be available in 8-by-20- or 8-by-40-foot containers – will have GE Wayne dispensers.
“Both GE and Chesapeake are known for taking on tough energy challenges and putting the best minds and technologies to work to develop solutions,” Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon said in a release. The partnership between GE and Peake Fuel Solutions, he said, “combines Chesapeake’s natural gas expertise with GE’s extensive global manufacturing capabilities and will bring transformative products to industries and individual consumers across the U.S.”
‘Fundamentally Committed to Natural Gas’
“GE is fundamentally committed to natural gas,” said GE Energy president and CEO John Krenicki. “Our technologies help extract it, move it and turn it into power, whether it’s highly efficient gas turbines delivering electricity at the utility scale or, in the near future, a vehicle at a refueling station.
“What makes this project particularly exciting,” Krenicki said, is that it paves the way to taking the immense reserves of natural gas being discovered in the U.S. and using them right here in the U.S. That paves the way for faster economic growth, energy security, more jobs and reduced environmental impact.”
Chesapeake also brings “considerable in-house expertise in CNG market development to the GE collaboration, including retail station relationships, fleet outreach and education programs and policy engagement.”
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