Clean Energy to build natural gas compression plant in PembrokeBy BENJAMIN C. KLEIN
Union Leader Correspondent
August 06. 2013 8:14PM
PEMBROKE — Once it is granted local permits, Clean Energy Fuels Corp. will begin construction of a new natural gas compression facility to fuel fleets of clean running vehicles and businesses throughout New England.
“America’s transportation sector has realized tremendous economic and environmental rewards by switching to compressed natural gas,” said Mark Riley, Clean Energy regional vice president, in a statement.
Clean Energy, a Newport Beach, Calif., company founded by Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, builds and operates compressed natural and liquefied natural gas fueling stations across the country. They have to be built along a natural gas pipeline and involve an expensive compression process. While municipalities and private industry work to upgrade truck fleets to natural gas from standard oil, Clean Energy is building in Pembroke in part because it is guaranteed a consistent revenue stream through a 10-year contract with Vermont-based NG Advantage LLC.
“This way we don’t have to build two of everything. (Clean Energy) builds the station in Pembroke and gets exclusive rights to fuel our tankers there for 10 years. It’s an advantage to us because we get a station built without putting up all the capital to do that, letting us expand quickly. And it is attractive to (Clean Energy) because they get a lot of sales while they wait for the local fleets to catch on that this is available. It guarantees them an early revenue stream,” Tom Evslin, founder and chairman of NG Advantage, said.
Evslin said that both NG and Clean Energy are similar companies that merely service different customers.
“They take natural gas and compress it so it can be used in vehicles. We compress natural gas and transport it so that it can be used by industrial, commercial and institutional customers,” Evslin said.
Evslin said that while NG has only been delivering natural gas since March, the demand it is experiencing has almost depleted its 1½ billion cubic foot natural gas facility in Milton, making the Pembroke facility, which will have a capacity of 2½ billion cubic foot, all the more important.
“What is important to our customers is that many of them have competitors on natural gas pipelines, which puts them at a disadvantage. We even the playing field, and there has been a very quick demand for our product, which can save up to 40 percent on energy bills. Energy is a significant cost of manufacturing, and by saving companies on their overhead costs we can help save and create jobs,” Evslin said.
In a statement, Riley agreed, saying, “Our partnership with NG Advantage is expected to allow our two companies to bring these same advantages to America’s manufacturers who are located beyond the reach of our nation’s natural gas network.”
Evslin said that the purchase and development of natural gas is not only important to New Hampshire, but the country as a whole.
“Natural gas produces a quarter of the (carbon dioxide) of oil, among other toxins, so it reduces pollution, saves money, keeps money in the United States and creates jobs,” Evslin said.
For Pembroke and the surrounding area, Evslin said he expects truck-driving positions to be created by the new facility because NG will want to contract with local trucking companies to ensure availability and transportation costs remain low.