Shipping giant UPS says it will build a liquefied natural gas fueling station in Nashville as part of a big push to overhaul its fleet with alternative-energy vehicles.
UPS plans to buy about 700 LNG vehicles and build a total of four refueling stations by the end of 2014. In addition to Nashville — details about the location of the station here are not yet available — the fueling stations will be built in Knoxville, Memphis and Dallas and will serve the company's heavyweight rigs traveling into adjacent states. UPS also plans to add LNG trucks on routes from Houston and San Antonio.
Atlanta-based UPS is making an initial investment of more than $18 million to build the fueling stations. The company already operates 112 LNG tractor trailers from such facilities in Las Vegas, Phoenix and Beaver and Salt Lake City, Utah, and has its own LNG fueling station on its property in Ontario, Calif.
On a related note, Pivotal LNG, a subsidiary of AGL Resources, announced that it has agreed to supply UPS with fuel in Nashville and Knoxville. The companies’ 10-year contract calls for Pivotal to provide UPS with an average of 500,000 gallons of LNG per month.
“LNG will be a viable alternative transportation fuel for UPS in the next decade as a bridge between traditional fossil fuels and emerging renewable alternative fuels and technologies that are not quite ready for broad-based long-term commercial deployment,” said Scott Davis, UPS’ chairman and CEO.
Worldwide, UPS has more than 1,000 natural gas vehicles on the road today. The company’s alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet of more than 2,600 vehicles also includes all-electrics, electric hybrids, hydraulic hybrids and machines powered by propane, compressed natural gas or biomethane.