The memorandum of understanding between Shell and TA has the heavy-duty trucking sector firmly in its sights. The plans, which still need to be finalized, would put LNG refueling infrastructure at about 100 TA and Petro Stopping Center sites where long-haul truckers already make stops. Also, TA says it will appropriately train its repair technicians and equip service facilities and Road Squad emergency roadside repair vehicles to service natural gas-powered trucks.
‘Shell sees great potential for LNG as a fuel option,’ says Elen Phillips, vice president of Shell Fuels Sales & Marketing North America. ‘Using natural gas for transport gives truck fleet operators a new, strong advantage because it's abundant and affordable, and a viable alternative to diesel.’
TA is the largest full-service travel center operator in the U.S., with nearly 250 locations in 41 states and Canada. For its part, Shell is already engaged to sell LNG to fleet customers at Flying J truck stops in Alberta, Canada. The first LNG retail plaza, located in Calgary, will open later this year.
Pending a final agreement, the first Shell/TA LNG fuel lanes will be operational in 2013, the companies say. They note that additional LNG lanes could be added, based on customer demand.