Fred Meyer Stores, a Portland, Ore.-based division of retailer The Kroger Co., has announced the arrival of the first 11 of 40 heavy-duty trucks powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Fred Meyer will receive the rest of the LNG trucks over the next several months – making it the first company in Oregon to deploy a fleet of heavy-duty LNG trucks, according to Clean Energy Fuels, which designed and engineered a private fueling station at Fred Meyer's Clackamas, Ore., distribution center.
Clean Energy will also supply the LNG for the station. Once all 40 trucks are active, it will supply the approximately 1 million gallons a year needed to service them.
The new LNG trucks will replace 40 diesel trucks currently in use and will deliver products to Fred Meyer stores as far south as Corvallis, Ore., and as far north as Longview, Wash. Some of the 40 diesel trucks will be used to replace older, less efficient diesel trucks in the fleet.
The trucks, which are manufactured at Freightliner's North Carolina plant, will average approximately 175 miles per day, six days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Kroger has invested $6.5 million in the project and received a $490,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration via the Oregon Department of Transportation for the LNG infrastructure. Kroger has applied for $360,000 in grant funding from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to retire nine diesel trucks and replace them with LNG trucks.
“Fred Meyer is pleased to be the first in Kroger's process of transitioning the Kroger fleet to alternative fuels,” says Lynn Gust, president of Fred Meyer Stores. “Converting to LNG trucks allows us to reinvest savings into lower prices while also providing a great benefit to the environment.”