California Gains its First Large LNG Fuel Production Plant

December 03, 2008

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. announced on November 24 that it has opened the first large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) production plant in California, and the largest LNG plant in the Southwest. The new California LNG Plant is located in the Mojave Desert near Boron, California, about 125 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The facility will produce up to 160,000 gallons per day of LNG for Clean Energy's new LNG truck fueling station in Carson, California, which provides fuel for trucks serving the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Those ports have instituted a Clean Truck Program that aims to replace old diesel trucks with new, cleaner trucks, which may include LNG-fueled trucks. The California LNG Plant will also supply LNG to transportation fuel customers throughout California and Arizona. If there is sufficient demand for LNG fuel, the facility can be expanded in the future to produce 240,000 gallons per day. See the Clean Energy press release and description of the California LNG Plant.

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach created the Clean Truck Program as part of their Clean Air Action Plan, which was adopted in November 2006 to address air pollution at the ports. The ports are the largest source of air pollution in the greater Los Angeles region, and more than 1,200 people in Southern California die prematurely each year because of air pollution from the two ports. The Clean Truck Program took effect on October 1 and immediately banned from the ports about 2,000 trucks built before 1989, which was the first year for pollution controls on diesel-fueled trucks. By 2012, the program will bar any trucks that don't meet the cleanest 2007 emission standards, and right now, that adds up to another 14,000 trucks. The program also provides subsidies to encourage the use of alternative fuels and other advanced technologies for trucks. The Clean Truck Program is currently being blocked by legal action of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), which has found certain portions of the program to be anti-competitive, but the FMC believes these anti-competitive features can be removed without hurting the program. See the Clean Truck Programs for the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, as well as the FMC's press release and legal documents.