1,000± CNG fuelling stations during the next three years
Real estate company DeBartolo Development, along with Keystone Consulting Group, a real estate investment company and Peake Fuel Solutions (a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy), have joined forces to develop a national infrastructure program for vehicular use of compressed natural gas (CNG). The partnership will strive to develop 1,000± fuelling stations during the next three years, commencing with an initial pilot project of 10 new fuelling stations.
“This partnership represents both an end and a beginning,” said Edward M. Kobel, DeBartolo President and Chief Operating Officer. “By increasing accessibility to CNG, we will end the high price of transportation fuels, reduce pollution caused by using gasoline and diesel and decrease the impact foreign markets have on our nation’s economy. This plan, coupled with several other national fueling efforts, will make CNG even more of a reality for fleet operators and individuals looking for an alternative fuel that can cut their fuelling costs in half. Our investment in this market serves to join America’s abundant natural gas supply with an increase in natural gas demand to transform our country’s transportation market.”
“We are concentrating our initial CNG development efforts in states offering an environment conducive to expeditious investment of capital and deployment of labor, and states having a proven intent to adopt environmentally safe and responsible initiatives associated with natural gas. Fuelling stations will be built with DeBartolo funds and leased to a credit-worthy tenant. We have programs for private fleets, municipalities, automobile dealerships, etc.,” Eric Hector, Principal of Keystone Consulting told NGV Global News.
Initial efforts will focus on, but not be limited to, the states of Florida, West Virginia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and California. Seeding strategies for long-term investment viability consider primary transportation corridors as a primary consideration. As such, all major investment options currently being considered involve interstate highway locations, with facilities capable of fuelling the light vehicle market and trucking fleets.
Hector said liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuelling is also in the mix but not in the initial stages. “We will offer LNG options to maritime and mining industries,” he said.
The project’s 10 initial stations will help determine the best way to offer CNG fuelling stations across the country in the future. As part of the pilot, four different station models will be tested, focusing on fuelling fleet vehicles. These stations will range from a private fuelling option for a single fleet to a station built to serve multiple fleets and run by an experienced retailer. The project will also identify and partner with leading fuelling retailers in select areas to increase CNG accessibility to general consumers.
DeBartolo will provide funding for the stations and act as the preferred developer for turnkey fueling infrastructure solutions. Additionally, Keystone Consulting Group, a company with a lengthy affiliation with DeBartolo, will find and develop fueling station opportunities.
According to the Department of Energy, today’s CNG fueling market includes approximately 500 public stations and 500 private stations. Nearly 100 additional public stations are also currently in development. This partnership will substantially increase this infrastructure and provide access to a cleaner burning alternative fuel to gasoline, emitting up to 30 percent less carbon dioxide, up to 75 percent less carbon monoxide and 95 percent less particulate matter than gasoline. The fuel also costs half the price of gasoline – between $1.00 and $2.00 per gasoline gallon equivalent on average – and is produced domestically. There is currently more than 100 years of natural gas supply in the United States alone.
(This article compiled using information supplied by Keystone Consulting Group and DeBartolo Development)