GE, Chesapeake Move Forward On CNG Plan

A P&GJ Staff Report
April 2012, Vol. 239 No. 4

GE and Chesapeake Energy Corporation announced March 7 a collaboration to develop infrastructure solutions they said will help accelerate the adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel.

To formalize the agreement, GE and Chesapeake have signed a memorandum of understanding on a product and services development partnership, representing a multi-year collaboration between the two companies to develop and bring to market compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation and natural gas home-fueling solutions.

Chesapeake Energy is one of the nation’s largest natural producers, especially in the Marcellus Shale, and GE has been busy increasing its energy portfolio, particularly in regards to natural gas.

By improving access to CNG, which is most commonly used in light- to medium-duty vehicles such as pickups, vans, SUVs, taxicabs, transit buses, refuse and delivery trucks as well as consumer vehicles, along with LNG, which is commonly used for heavy-duty industrial purposes, dependence on foreign energy sources can be reduced while simultaneously lowering fueling costs and vehicle emissions.

The collaboration is designed to leverage GE’s global Oil & Gas technology portfolio with Chesapeake’s expertise in developing innovative fueling solutions to lower the ownership and operational costs of natural gas vehicle (NGV) fueling stations. With the development of shale resources dramatically increasing the amount of low-cost natural gas in North America, the GE-Chesapeake collaboration can provide incentive for operators to put more NGVs on the nation’s highways.

CNG In A Box
As part of the collaboration, beginning this fall GE will provide more than 250 modular and standardized CNG compression stations for NGV infrastructure. These units, also known as “CNG In A Box™,” have gone through GE’s ecomagination-qualification process and will provide the core infrastructure to enable expanded access to CNG at fueling stations and other designated installations. 

A vehicle using CNG can reduce annual fuel costs up to 40%, assuming 25,700 miles per year driven, gasoline priced at $3.50/gallon and CNG at $2.09/gasoline gallon equivalent. This represents savings totaling as much as $1,500 per fleet vehicle per year. In total, for each fleet vehicle using fuel provided by CNG In A Box instead of gasoline, a fleet operator can reduce CO-2e emissions from fuel combustion by about 24% or 2.2 metric tons per vehicle annually, assuming an average fleet vehicle travels approximately 25,700 miles per year.
 
“Both GE and Chesapeake are known for taking on tough energy challenges and putting the best minds and technologies to work to develop solutions,” said Aubrey K. McClendon, Chesapeake’s CEO.

“The partnership between GE and Chesapeake’s affiliate, Peake Fuel Solutions, combines Chesapeake’s natural gas expertise with GE’s extensive global manufacturing capabilities and will bring transformative products to industries and individual consumers across the U.S. These products and services will allow customers to enjoy the clear advantages of natural gas at about half the cost of gasoline,” he said.