|Clean Energy Unveils Backbone Network for America's Natural Gas Highway
Seal Beach, Calif. (January 12, 2012) — The route plan for the first phase of 150 new LNG fueling stations for America's Natural Gas Highway (ANGH) was unveiled today by Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq: CLNE), the leading provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America. The company has identified 98 locations and anticipates having 70 stations open by the end of 2012 in 33 states.
Many of the fueling stations will be co-located at Pilot-Flying J Travel Centers already serving goods movement trucking through an exclusive agreement with Pilot to build, own and operate natural gas fueling facilities at agreed-upon travel centers. Pilot-Flying J is the nation's largest truck-stop operator with more than 550 retail properties in 47 states.
Major highway segments planned for early opening include, among others, those linking San Diego-Los Angeles-Riverside-Las Vegas; the Texas Triangle (Houston-San Antonio-Dallas/Ft. Worth); Los Angeles-Dallas; Houston-Chicago; Chicago-Atlanta; and a network of stations along major highways in the mid-west region (IL, IN, OH, MO, KY, TN, KS, OK, AL) to serve the heavy trucking traffic in the area.
Scheduled for completion during 2012 and 2013, the 150 first-phase stations coincide with the expected arrival of new natural gas truck engines well suited for heavy-duty, over-the-road trucking. Engine manufacturers and original equipment truck manufacturers such as Cummins-Westport, Kenworth, Peterbilt, Navistar, Freightliner and Caterpillar are expected to have Class-8 trucks available in engine sizes allowing for varied road and driving requirements.
"We are moving quickly to build this important network in order to support the new trucks," said Andrew J. Littlefair, Clean Energy's President and CEO. "Already, Clean Energy has engaged over 100 shippers, private fleets and for-hire carriers that have shared their operations to qualify the economic opportunity of operating natural gas trucks, which has helped us, in turn, plan the first phase of the natural gas fueling highway."
Littlefair noted that the ANGH stations are in addition to the station building planned for the company's traditional markets in transit, refuse, airport/taxi/shuttle and local/regional trucking, which activity accounted for 63 station projects in 2011.
In July 2011, in a major alliance supporting the transition of trucking from diesel to natural gas fuel, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK), the nation's second largest natural gas producer, committed an investment of $150 million in Clean Energy to help fund the development of America's Natural Gas Highway. In September 2011, a group of international investors committed an additional $150 million, and in December 2011, another $150 million was invested, bringing the total investment in Clean Energy in 2011 for fueling station infrastructure development and other capital projects to $450 million.
Currently priced up to $1.50 per gallon lower than diesel or gasoline (depending upon local markets), the use of natural gas fuel reduces costs significantly for vehicle and fleet owners, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions approximately 23% in medium to heavy-duty vehicles. Additionally, natural gas is a secure North American energy source with 98% of the natural gas consumed produced in the U.S. and Canada.
Clean Energy (Nasdaq: CLNE) is the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America and a global leader in the expanding natural gas vehicle market. It has operations in CNG and LNG vehicle fueling, construction and operation of CNG and LNG fueling stations, biomethane production, vehicle conversion and compressor technology.
Today Clean Energy fuels over 25,000 vehicles at 273 strategic locations across the United States and Canada with a broad customer base in the refuse, transit, trucking, shuttle, taxi, airport and municipal fleet markets. Clean Energy del Peru, a joint venture, fuels vehicles and provides CNG to commercial customers in Peru. We own (70%) and operate a landfill gas facility in Dallas, Texas, that produces renewable natural gas, or biomethane, for delivery in the nation's gas pipeline network, and we plan to build a second facility in Michigan. We own and operate LNG production plants in Willis, Texas and Boron, Calif. with combined capacity of 260,000 LNG gallons per day and that are designed to expand to 340,000 LNG gallons per day as demand increases. NorthStar, a wholly owned subsidiary, is the recognized leader in LNG/LCNG (liquefied to compressed natural gas) fueling system technologies and station construction and operations. BAF Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, is a leading provider of natural gas vehicle systems and conversions for taxis, vans, pick-up trucks and shuttle buses. IMW Industries, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary based in Canada, is a leading supplier of compressed natural gas equipment for vehicle fueling and industrial applications with more than 1,200 installations in 24 countries. For more information, visit www.cleanenergyfuels.com
Forward-Looking Statements — This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including statements about the number and location of stations to be included in the natural gas highway system, the timing for the completion of construction of these stations, the availability and deployment of, as well as the demand for, heavy duty natural gas truck engines, and the potential for a natural gas highway system. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of several factors, including permitting or other delays encountered during the identification of locations for, and the construction of, natural gas fueling stations, including those stations for the natural gas highway, the performance, availability and price of natural gas vehicles relative to gasoline and diesel vehicles and the price per gallon of natural gas relative to diesel and gasoline. The forward-looking statements made herein speak only as of the date of this press release and, unless otherwise required by law, the company undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.