PennDOT has shortlist for CNG fuel point project

Four finalists receive the invite to submit proposals for a programme to develop compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations at public transit agencies across Pennsylvania.

Following a November 2014 Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking a private partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations at public transit facilities, the Pennsylvania State Department of Transportation ( PennDOT ) has announced a shortlist of four potential partners.

The project was originally given the go-ahead by Pennsylvania's Public-Private Partnership (PPP; P3) Board on September 29, 2014. In total, 11 interested parties responded to the RFQ, according to a PennDOT representative.

“With Pennsylvania now a leading natural gas producer, this project creates opportunities for transit providers and the public to have better access to this fuel for vehicle operations,” said PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch. “This project will help the people of Pennsylvania realize the benefits this resource is delivering.”

Among those invited to submit proposals for a programme to place CNG stations at up to 37 transit facilities across the state were Clean Energy of Newport Beach, California; GP Strategies of Escondido, California; Spire of St. Louis, Missouri; and Trillium CNG of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Clean Energy is the brainchild of entrepreneurial energy pioneer T. Boone Pickens, and was established in 1988. 

Trillium CNG was formed through the acquisition of Pinnacle CNG Systems and Trillium USA by the Integrys Energy Group in September 2011. For the PennDOT CNG project, Trillium is teaming up with Larson Design Group in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania.

Spire , a division of The Laclede Group launched jointly with Siemens' building technologies division, debuted its first CNG station near Lambert-St. Louis Airport last June. Spire would employ the services of the Institute of Gas & Technology in Des Plaines, Illinois; Raymundo Engineering in Walnut Creek, California; Parsons Brickinoff of Pennsylvania; and Dual Fuel Services of Batavia, Illinois.

To meet project needs, GP Strategies would rely on a consortium comprised of L.R. Kimball of Edenburg, Pennsylvania; McCrossin of Bellafonte, Pennsylvania; and Gladstein Neandross of Santa Monica, California.

According to the RFQ, required project services include: designing, constructing, operating and maintaining CNG fuel points; upgrading CNG maintenance and storage facilities to ensure they are CNG-ready; supplying CNG to participating transit agencies; performing CNG commercialisation activities; providing back office services in connection with operation and maintenance functions; and financing all of the above.

PennDOT plans to issue a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) that the selected teams will review before a final RFP is issued in the spring. The agency expects proposals will be required to be submitted by the summer, with an award to be made in late summer or early autumn, according to a statement released by the agency on January 16.

In 2013, Pennsylvania became the second-largest producing state of CNG in the US, and PennDOT estimates that savings to residents through the use of CNG total as much as $1,200 per year.