LNG Plant North of Houston Named in Honor of Boone Pickens
Amid ever-increasing public concern about rising gasoline prices, the dedication of a fueling plant outside of Houston rekindles optimism that Texas will remain a national energy industry leader while enabling major fleet and transit operators across Texas to benefit from a clean-burning, abundant, domestic fuel available today, not years or decades from now.
Clean Energy, North America's leader in clean transportation, officially dedicated today the Pickens Plant in Willis, Texas. The plant, located about 60 miles north of Houston, can produce up to 100,000 gallons of vehicle-grade liquefied natural gas (LNG) per day.
Clean Energy purchased the plant, once known as the Willis LNG Plant, from Applied LNG Technologies USA LLC late last year. It has been renamed in honor of Boone Pickens, one of the founders of Clean Energy and perhaps America's most outspoken advocate of natural gas as a transportation fuel.
The Pickens Plant operates truck-loading facilities, a one-million-gallon storage tank and a growing fleet of tanker trailers to distribute the fuel to customers across Texas. LNG is 600 times denser than natural gas, making it easily transportable and highly efficient as a fuel for heavy-duty, long-distance fleets, such as those serving major ports around the country.
The plant receives natural gas from the pipeline, chills it to a liquefied form and stores it at low pressure for delivery to a growing public- and private-sector customer base. Among Clean Energy's Texas customers are Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Sun Metro (El Paso), and the Houston operations for SYSCO Food Service and H-E-B. Nationally, Clean Energy's other LNG customers include The City of Phoenix (AZ), Adams Lake Lumber (British Columbia), and Norcal Waste Systems (San Francisco CA).
Top state officials have stressed the importance of the Pickens Plant to Texas and its large-scale production and distribution of LNG across the state.
"It is important for Texas to remain a national leader in producing the nation's transportation fuels, and the Pickens Plant will help ensure that happens for years to come," Texas Governor Rick Perry said. "As a founder of Clean Energy, Boone Pickens has been a strong proponent of the use of alternative fuels, and it is fitting that this plant bear his name."
"Texas has a long and rich history of meeting the nation's energy needs," said Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, who attended the dedication ceremony. "This is a direct result of the can-do entrepreneurial spirit that has shaped our great state. That history lives today, and the developing alternative fuels industry in Texas will help ensure we remain an energy leader nationally for decades to come."
Added Dewhurst: "Natural gas is a clean, economical and abundant fuel source, and the Pickens Plant will help ensure that fleet operators, both public and private, will be able to take advantage of this important resource. It is fitting that the facility be named in honor of one of the most visible and effective champions of this fuel, Boone Pickens. He is one of America's most successful entrepreneurs, and we can all salute his commitment to advancing this important fuel source as we look to further reduce our dependence on imported oil."
"One of the cornerstones of Texas' future energy policy must be the development of alternative fuels and liquefied natural gas plays an important role in that arena," said Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Elizabeth Ann Jones. "The importance of the Pickens Plant and its focus on providing abundant supplies of this premium fuel to fleet operators cannot be underestimated."
"Clean Energy has dedicated itself to being a leader in the energy supply chain for fleets across the U.S.," said Andrew Littlefair, chairman and CEO of Clean Energy. "The Pickens Plant is an important addition to our LNG resource base, increases the availability of LNG in Texas and provides us with important flexibility and backup supplies that will benefit our customers."
(Clean Energy is the largest provider of vehicular natural gas (CNG and LNG) and related services in North America. It has a broad customer base in the refuse, transit, shuttle, taxi, police, intrastate and interstate trucking, airport and municipal fleet markets with tens of thousands of vehicles fueling at more than 165 strategic locations in the United States and Canad. The company operates a fleet of 33 LNG tankers carrying fuel interstate to more than 30 vehicle fleet and industrial customers. Clean Energy is a private company whose major shareholders include Boone Pickens, Westport Innovations Inc. (TSE: WPT) and Perseus 2000 LLC.)
Jay Rosser , 214-265-4165
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