Shell, TA and Kroger moving toward alternative fuel

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 5/7/2014

Shell and Travel Centers of America LLC have opened their first two liquefied natural gas fueling lanes in the United States.

Earlier this week, the Petro location at I-10, Exit 57 in Ontario, Calif., opened the first station of the April 2013 Shell and TA agreement to sell LNG to heavy-duty vehicles in the U.S. at TA and Petro locations.

“We are very happy to be opening our first LNG lanes today,” said Tom O’Brien, president and CEO of Travel Centers, in a press release. “All of our LNG lanes, at Ontario and future locations, will be super lanes in that the lanes are equipped with dispensers that allow pumping of LNG, diesel and DEF. This ensures that those lanes can be fully utilized while the demand for LNG ramps up over the coming months and years. Additionally, by locating the LNG lanes with the existing fuel lanes, we haven't interrupted truck traffic flow, or reduced available truck parking spaces at these sites.”

In an effort to be on the forefront of the emerging natural gas market, TA plans to have 10 more fueling locations open by the end of the year. Petro and TA are also retrofitting five locations to meet standards and regulations regarding service repairs for both compressed natural gas (CNG) and LNG trucks. The locations are:

  • Petro Ontario, Calif.;
  • TA Harrisburg, Pa. (I-81, Exit 77);
  • TA Baytown, Texas (I-10, Exit 789);
  • TA Dallas South, Texas (I-20, Exit 472); and
  • TA San Antonio, Texas (I-10, Exit 583).

“At Shell, we believe it is essential that we advance alternative fuels that both diversify the fuel supply and help to reduce emissions,” said Elen Phillips, Vice President, Shell Fuels Sales & Marketing North America. “The opening of the first U.S. LNG station signifies the early stages of a sustainable transport system that will create value for Shell – as well as for our customers.”

In related news, Westport Innovations Inc. has teamed up with Kroger to replace 40 diesel trucks with 40 LNG trucks in Oregon.

Kroger has ordered 40 Westport iCE PACK systems for their Freightliner natural gas trucks. According to Westport’s press release, “iCE PACK is the only LNG tank system in North America that operates on cold or warm LNG making it convenient for fleets to fuel at an increasing number of LNG stations across North America.”

The trucks are expected to be delivered to Kroger by the end of the summer and out on the road delivering by the end of the year.

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