Utah's First LNG Station Nears Completion
Jan. 5, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY - CH4 Energy Corporation (CH4 Energy) set the first bulk Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage tank on its permanent foundation this week, marking a significant milestone in the construction of the premier retail natural-gas fueling station in North America. The station, developed with funding support from a Utah Clean Cities Coalition administered, Department of Energy/Recovery Act grant, is co-located on the state-of-the-art Flying J/Pilot travel plaza at the intersection of Interstate 80 and Interstate 15 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
CH4 Energy expects the station to be fully operational within five to six weeks. The station will dispense Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and LNG faster than any public Natural Gas fueling station in North America. Clean, domestic natural-gas vehicle fuels have the potential to have a significant positive impact on air quality in the state of Utah and the United States. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that North America has well over a 100 year supply of clean natural gas.
According to CH4 Energy CEO Merritt Norton: "This station will be the premier public natural-gas fueling station in North America and will be a great asset to the state of Utah, which is leading North America in the deployment of vehicles using clean, domestically produced natural gas. The station will also provide a critical interstate fueling infrastructure link for Class 7 and Class 8 heavy-duty trucks. Utah is the only state in the country where a significant proportion of average citizens drive natural-gas vehicles, and this station—which is strategically located at the crossroads of the West, at the intersection of Interstate 80 and Interstate 15, as well as the major highway, Utah Highway 201—will provide public access to the fastest and most convenient fill up in North America for both CNG and LNG natural-gas vehicles."
The station will accept all major fleet fueling cards as well as consumer credit cards and the Utah state-fleet fueling card. The station will be open 365 days per year, 24 hours a day, with access to Class-8 truck parking, convenience store, restrooms, shower facilities, Denny's restaurant, diesel exhaust fluid, internet Wi-Fi access, drivers' lounge, and all the other amenities at this state-of-the-art Flying J/Pilot travel plaza. The station was designed from the ground up to provide ultra-fast freeway access to natural-gas vehicle fuels for every type of vehicle from the Honda Civic all the way up to the largest Class 8 tandem- and triple-trailer truck combinations. The station has separate ingress and egress lanes for light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles.
About the Utah Clean Cities Coalition's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Grant
Utah Clean Cities Coalition (UCCC) is one of over 90 coalitions around the country that are part of the U.S. Department of Energy's strategy to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. In 2009, UCCC was the recipient of a $14.9 million Stimulus grant, for projects with 23 partners, valued at over $52 million. The projects will bring more CNG, LNG, Biodiesel, and electric vehicles (500+) and stations (20+) to Utah, along with over 300 jobs.
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Utah joins liquefied natural gas corridor with new station
Amy Joi O'Donoghue
March 22, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY — What's being billed as the nation's second largest liquefied and compressed natural gas station celebrated its grand opening Tuesday on the grounds of the Flying J Travel Center, allowing Utah to take its place along a new multistate corridor.
The station will allow long-haul trucks to fuel up on liquefied natural gas, which is natural gas supercooled to -260 degrees Fahrenheit that burns up to 50 percent cleaner than diesel.
It marks the first time in Utah the fuel will be sold, enabling carriers to store more energy on board in a smaller volume. According to the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, the super cooling method reduces the volume of natural gas by a factor of more than 600 — comparable to taking a beach ball down to the size of a ping pong ball. Utah's station joins more than 100 production, storage or transport facilities across the country.
Those stations are designed to meet a growing trend in the fleet industry of companies turning to liquefied natural gas as a fuel source. Last month, UPS purchased another 48 heavy tractor trucks to run on that fuel. The company is also working with the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities program to construct a liquefied natural gas station in Las Vegas that will augment the corridor in which Utah is connected.
The $3 million station at 2025 S. 900 West will also fast-fill compressed natural gas to the public.
Just last week, the state's Division of Air Quality announced a list of recipients of grants and loans to help seven entities either purchase natural gas vehicles or add refueling stations along the Wasatch Front.
Grants include: Salt Lake City, $82,500 for the purchase of three CNG refuse trucks; University of Utah commuter services, $32,000 for the purchase of two CNG transit buses; ACE Disposal, $55,000, for six CNG refuse haulers; Semi Service, $55,000 for a refueling station and Kennecott Utah Copper, $25,000 to convert five vehicles to CNG.
Semi Service also received $100,000 in a loan for the conversion of eight vehicles to CNG and to put in its refueling station and Uintah Gas Fireplace & BBQs was awarded a $50,000 loan for a refueling station.
The new Salt Lake City station was funded in part through nearly $15 million federal stimulus money given to the Utah Clean Cities Coalition to promote more alternative fuel vehicles, develop the infrastructure and provide jobs.
"We are very excited that after many years of trying, we are finally able to bring this LNG fuel to the public," said Carrie Giles, northern director of the Utah Clean Cities Coalition.
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Utah gets first liquefied natural gas station
The station is at the Flying J Travel Plaza at 900 W. 2100 South in Salt Lake City and is expected to be frequented by long-haul truck drivers whose rigs have been adapted to burn the fuel.
"This is cutting edge but it may be years before we see LNG widely used," said David Creer, executive director of the Utah Trucking Association. "Still, this is a start."
The $3 million facility was developed as part of a $14.9 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant awarded to the Utah Clean Cities Coalition to encourage the use of alternative fuel vehicles through the development of infrastructure and jobs in the state.
LNG is a supercooled fuel that is stored cold on the trucks that use it. The fuel is warmed by the engine and will burn up to 50 percent cleaner than diesel fuel.
The station, which also sells the more widely used compressed natural gas, represents that latest extension of a new LNG fuel corridor that extends from the Port of Los Angeles, through California and southern Nevada to Salt Lake City.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, Gov. Gary Herbert and other Utah dignitaries were on hand Tuesday for the grand opening ceremony.
First liquefied natural gas refueling station opens in Utah
March 22, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY - The first liquefied natural gas station in Utah opened Tuesday at the junction of two interstate freeways.
The station will likely become an important hub for two planned LNG corridors for long-haul trucks in the western U.S., said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. It is located near a Salt Lake City interchange between I-80, which goes east across the country to New York and west to San Francisco, and I-15 running north through Idaho and Montana into Canada and south to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
"Using more natural gas in our transportation sector will make us more competitive as a nation," Hatch said during a ceremony to open the station. "Natural gas is clean, it's abundant, it's affordable and it's American."
Along with five hoses for LNG service, the station will offer 12 hoses for compressed natural gas that is more commonly used by passenger cars and light-duty trucks, said Merritt Norton, chief executive officer for CH4 Energy, the company that will operate the station.
Utah already has good infrastructure for CNG vehicles, with more than two dozen stations open, Norton said. Many of those are along I-15.
Norton said natural gas burns cleaner than fuel and is non-toxic, which he proved by downing a glass of water mixed with LNG.
Because it is domestic, natural gas provides energy independence and boosts the economy, said Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. But he cautioned that natural gas supplies depend on access to gas wells.
Although many people think protecting the environment and developing resources are mutually exclusive, proper "stewardship of the earth" requires some concessions, Herbert said.
"If we can't drill, if we can't access the natural gas in our public lands, we can't have it here," he said.
The station was partially funded by a $3 million grant from federal stimulus funds given to the Utah Clean Cities Coalition, said Carrie Gilles, the coalition's northern director.
The U.S. Department of Energy says 40 other LNG stations are open in the U.S., 32 of them in California.
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United States continues to expand its natural gas infrastructure
The first LNG station was inaugurated at the junction of two interstate freeways in Utah as the beginning of two planned liquefied natural gas corridors for long-haul trucks in the western U.S. It is located near a Salt Lake City interchange between a road which goes east across the country to New York and west to San Francisco, and a route running north through Idaho and Montana into Canada and south to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Besides five LNG pumps for heavy-duty vehicles, the facility will serve passenger cars and light-duty trucks by 12 compressed natural gas pumps, published Business week web site. This year, there are plans to open two more LCNG stations in the state.Additionally, Utah celebrated the opening of the 33rd public CNG facility in the State. In this case, it is located in Washington City and was financed by a grant from the Department of Energy.
In the ribbon cutting ceremony, Southern central director of Utah Clean Cities Robin Erickson said "This partnership effort will provide Washington City the ability to convert their fleet to compressed natural gas and provide a CNG dispensing point station open to the public”.
Meanwhile, Eastern U.S. is also expanding its natural gas infrastructure. The city of Columbus (Ohio’s capital) is building a CNG refueling station which hopes to open to the public by October.
According to The Columbus Dispatch newspaper, it is part of a plan to add 24 CNG vehicles to the city's fleet this year, with a promise for more vehicles and three more stations over the next seven years.
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To view pictures from the event, see here.