Clean Energy Fuels Corp. and Mansfield Energy Corp. announced a strategic partnership to offer customers what they say will be the most comprehensive solution in the compressed natural gas fuel industry.

Mansfield Gas Equipment Systems has ongoing CNG service and operations contracts with 43 locations as well as 20 new CNG sites currently under development in the waste, transit, and municipal fleet sectors. These are typically "behind the fence" type facilities, owned by the fleet using it, rather than a retail operation. This portfolio will be combined with the 348 CNG and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations Clean Energy currently owns, operates or supplies.

"Recent announcements by UPS, Waste Management and others demonstrate the transition of natural gas as a vehicle fuel is happening," says Andrew Littlefair, CEO of Clean Energy. "We've spent the last year building out our retail truckstop locations with our partner Pilot Flying J, predominanly LNG, to fuel long-haul, over-the-road trucking, and with the advent of the 12-liter natural gas engine, we're begining to see that take off.

"This is the other piece, often more urban, at distribution centers, behind the gate," Littlefield says, "refuse companies, freight haulers. It's a little harder to see. It will often be more CNG than LNG."

In fact, he says, Clean Energy is beginning to build some fueling centers in distribution centers as part of its America's Natural Gas Highway project, so the two areas will overlap.

Littlefair said the deal also will help the two companies target fleets that haul bulk petroleum as potential customers.

Sales teams from both companies will offer Clean Energy’s natural gas fueling station construction and operational services to current and potential customers. These services will be supported by Mansfield’s large-scale fuel supply capabilities and Gas-2-Gallons fuel management system.

“We want our customers to have the best solution possible for fueling with natural gas,” said Michael Mansfield, CEO of Mansfield.  “We bring scale in commodity supply, risk management, and transaction processing.  Clean Energy has scale in design, engineering and operations. Bringing these strengths together for our customers provides the benefits of proven technology coupled with large-scale operating efficiencies to provide the best value and simplest path to natural gas adoption in the market today.”

Mansfield notes that his company has built close to 180 natural gas fueling sites over the last several years. "We have a lot of new construction going on today, but we think certainly we're in the early stages of growth and what we're going to do from here is going to be exponential."