The Town of Smithtown, New York, has signed a seven-year fixed-price contract with Clean Energy to supply compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel to all Smithtown refuse collection trucks beginning January 1, 2007. In addition, Clean Energy will provide a multi-year fixed fuel price for the Town's growing natural gas vehicle fleet. In a June 30 vote, Smithtown became the first municipality in the State of New York to require all of its contracted residential refuse collection operators to switch from diesel power to vehicles that operate exclusively on CNG fuel. Bid specifications for refuse operators who wish to participate are available from the Smithtown Town Clerk, and bids must be returned by August 1, 2006.
Winning bidders will need to purchase new CNG-powered refuse trucks, according to Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio. "This move will save the town money, and the new trucks will be better for the environment and reduce dependence on foreign oil," he said. To ease the transition, Clean Energy's current local CNG fuel station will be upgraded to supply contracted refuse operators with CNG fuel that is priced well below the per-gallon cost of diesel fuel. "The final straw in our decision was economics," Vecchio said. "The recent run up in diesel prices has made natural gas attractive for more than environmental reasons. It's now cheaper than diesel."
Jim Harger, Senior Vice President, Clean Energy, added, "We are excited to initiate this fuel supply arrangement with Smithtown. Along with the Town, Clean Energy is committed to helping reduce environmental air pollution on Long Island and elsewhere. Clean natural gas is one of the best ways to prevent air pollution because it burns cleaner than diesel and other alternative fuels, reducing harmful vehicle emissions significantly."
Smithtown's contractors currently use 30 diesel-fueled refuse trucks to collect solid waste and recyclables from approximately 35,000 households. With the switch from diesel to CNG-powered trucks during the seven-year contract period, township officials expect to reduce airborne emissions of nitrogen oxides by a total of 177 tons, and harmful particulate matter by 173 tons.
"Over the life of our contract with Clean Energy, we'll displace over two and a half million gallons of foreign oil, and we'll do that while achieving major air quality improvements and protecting our residents from the costs and uncertainty of an unstable oil market," Vecchio said.
About Clean Energy
Clean Energy is the leading provider of vehicular natural gas (CNG and LNG) and related services in the United States. It has a broad customer base in the refuse, transit, shuttle, taxi, police, trucking, airport and municipal fleet markets with tens of thousands of vehicles fueling at strategic locations across the United States and Canada. Clean Energy is a private company whose major shareholders include Boone Pickens, Perseus Capital and Westport Innovations Inc. (TSE: WPT). Information at: www.cleanenergyfuels.com.