Clean Energy, GE unit partner in natural gas project

CHICAGO, Sept 17 Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:30pm EDT

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CHICAGO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - A company backed by Texas oil man T. Boone Pickens that provides natural gas as transportation fuel is partnering with Canada's Ferus Natural Gas Fuels, GE Ventures and GE Energy Financial Services to jointly deliver liquefied natural gas in the United States.

The consortium, called Eagle LNG Partners, will develop regional LNG projects to meet industry demand for long-haul trucking, rail, mining, marine, and oil and gas services, a spokeswoman for Ferus Natural Gas Fuels told Reuters.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp is the Pickens-backed part of the venture, which is expected to be unveiled Wednesday at the High Horsepower Summit in Chicago.

Natural gas, which roughly translates into cost savings of about 20-40 percent for companies as an alternative to diesel fuel, is being adopted by many industries in the United States as they look to cut costs and reduce carbon emissions.

But critics say the extraction of natural gas releases methane, a greenhouse gas that can be more harmful in the long run than the carbon released by burning other fuels.

Clean Energy Fuels, based in Seal Beach, California, builds and operates compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas fueling stations. It also makes compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas equipment and converts vehicles to natural gas.

The companies declined to say how much they would invest in the project. They said that, depending on production volumes, LNG liquefaction plants cost between $40 million and $100 million to build.

Eagle LNG Partners currently is considering projects in Florida, Washington, Colorado, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas, the companies said.

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