Former Chesapeake NGV Pros Launch CNG Firm

Sparq Natural Gas LLC, headquartered in Oklahoma City, has initiated business as a new entity targeting the build-out of compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling infrastructure.

The company is led by longtime natural gas vehicle industry professional Norman Herrera, who is serving as CEO. He and his two key partners in Sparq – Sufyan Qarni and Tristan Adler – were formerly members of the market development team focused on NGVs at Chesapeake Energy Corp. The natural gas producer disbanded that team in September 2013.

Herrera tells NGT News that ‘speculative infrastructure development’ is central to Sparq's business strategy, enabling the company to move quickly to establish CNG refueling capacity in areas of low-hanging fruit – for instance, where natural gas production is already booming or in states where NGV and CNG incentives are strong.

‘We will de-risk and capitalize a project for a company that doesn't want to sign an agreement,’ he says, explaining that building CNG stations with no guaranteed up-front demand, take-or-pay contracts or fuel-volume minimums will be a specialty.

‘Moving on spec will make it faster,’ Herrera notes.

Not surprisingly, Oklahoma is one of Sparq's primary targets for development. The state's robust natural gas industry and long-term NGV incentive programs make it a hot area for speculative development. Other states, including Louisiana, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, New Mexico and Texas, are additional locations where Herrera believes the company can excel.

Sparq will also be looking at building CNG capacity in locations that are currently underserved – or not served at all. An important part of achieving this goal will be partnering with convenience store chains and other retail fueling organizations to bring CNG equipment to their sites.

Beyond direct CNG infrastructure development, a second core piece of Sparq's business will be providing CNG/NGV consulting and advisory services on a nationwide basis. The company will work on behalf of fleets, leasing companies and other interested parties to identify areas that might be ripe for NGV deployments, or to coordinate grant submissions or initiate CNG/NGV product commercialization.

For more details about Sparq, send an email to norman.herrera@sparqng.com.

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