ENN Group enters the race to build a natural gas highway

  • ENN Group enters the race to build a natural gas highway

    One of the most interesting trends we’re following on this site is the growth of natural gas as a viable product for c-stores to add to their fuels product portfolio. In December of 2012 we discussed when it may be time to add CNG to your fuels product line. And in January 2013 we reported on the independent fuel retailer IGS building a network of CNG fueling stations.

    Now according to Reuters, ENN Group has announced plans to build a network of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) stations across the US to target long-haul trucking companies. Almost half of the garbage trucks sold in the US last year run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), but the long-haul trucking market is significantly higher than that municipality market.

    The typical LNG station costs $1m to build. Liquified Natural Gas stations cost less than CNG stations because LNG stations have the liquid fuel trucked in, and do not tap into natural gas lines.

    The new stations are being built under the company BluLNG, a partnership created with the Salt Lake City company CH4 Energy Corp. The CH4 Energy Corp had already built one CNG and LNG station in Salt Lake City prior to the partnership, and now five stations are operating, with  three more stations scheduled to be opened within the next few weeks.

    Both Blu and Clean Energy (who already has 70 LNG stations) plan to build 50-60 new stations this year. Clean Energy has an arrangement with Pilot Flying J for these stations. Blu’s longterm strategy may be to build up to 500 stations, one source said. Shell has also said they are working toward an arrangement with TravelCenters of America, LLC to build natural gas stations at their truck stops.

    Whether or not you choose to add natural gas to your fuels product portfolio, as the natural gas momentum continues to build, it will contribute to the overall shrinkage of the traditional petroleum market pie. And that makes it a trend that is too important to ignore.