Shell recently announced its plans to partner with TravelCenters of America to sell liquefied natural gas to truckers at TA travel centers.
Successful Dealer recently spoke with James Burns, general manager, LNG for Transport, Shell America, to get more details about the program and the reasons behind it.
When asked about Shell’s strategy concerning KNG, Burns said, “May people do not know this, but Shell has been in the LNG business from the very beginning. It has been almost five decades since the first LNG plant was built, and we provided technology to help build it.”
Along with its global joint-venture partners, Shell says it provides 30 percent of the global LNG supply and operates about 20 percent of ANG tankers as well.
“[The deal with TA] was a natural fit for Shell being that we have these downstream core competencies and experience with the global LNG market,” he says.
Last year Shell announced a plan to offer LNG in Canada and is in the process of building a LNG plant in Alberta and plans to have three LNG at truck plazas operational this year.
Shell believes in the viability of LNG as an alternative fuel now and in the future. “There are a couple of things that are lining up to where this makes sense now,” he says. “To be very clear, we believe LNG is an alternative future fuel that is available today. The reason it is available today is that from a technology perspective, we have made step changes in producing LNG at a very reasonable cost.”
He adds, “We believe in natural gas specifically because natural gas is affordable, available and environmentally acceptable.” And he believes LNG will be a viable option regardless of what happens with diesel fuel prices. “We are providing LNG on an energy content basis — on a diesel gallon equivalent basis — so that is has the same energy amount as diesel.”