Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More CNG News

While I don't think compressed natural gas (CNG) will be the biggest new demand driver for natural gas over the next decade, I do think it will be a strong component to further the general growth of the fuel. It is especially important because it is cleaner and cheaper than oil-based fuels and is a domestic product that will improve national security by helping wean our nation off foreign oil. Here are some news snippets about CNG (the first two are not new news, but they are big):
  • AT&T announced plans in March 2009 to deploy 8,000 CNG service vehicles over the next ten years. In total, the company will deploy a total of 15,000 alternative fuel vehicles.
  • UPS added 300 new CNG delivery vans to its fleet in February 2009. With the additions, the company now has a total of 1,891 alternative fuel delivery trucks, approximately 1,100 of which are CNG. The new CNG trucks are located in California (111), Oklahoma City (100), Atlanta (46) and Denver (43).
  • The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is considering buying 594 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to replace a portion of its aging fleet and building three new CNG fueling stations. The article linked above gives the political back and forth that reminded me, chillingly, of a few years I spent as a consultant to a quasi-dysfunctional municipal board, but the point is that another city in the heart of gas country looks to be supporting natural gas with action rather than words.
  • Phoenix Beverages, a New York Budweiser distributor, is planning to convert 20 of its 150 fleet delivery trucks to CNG with grant help from Clean Cities, a DOE public-private partnership to reduce petroleum consumption. The funding came from the federal stimulus package approved earlier this year. The number of trucks converted is not a huge number, but it's exactly the kind of project that helps seed CNG. You build a few CNG stations and early adapters can buy CNG vehicles. That supports more stations, which supports more vehicles, and so on and so on.
  • Another New York beer distributor, Manhattan Beer Distributors, completed a CNG conversion for 45 of its trucks earlier this year.

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