It was with great excitement that Westlake Village, Calif.,-based Applied LNG — a leading marketer, producer and distributor of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for alternative fuel use in North America — held its ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new Dallas-Midlothian LNG plant in late October.
A beautiful fall day set the stage for Applied LNG, state and local officials, invited attendees from the 2015 High Horsepower Summit being held in Dallas and other event guests to celebrate the occasion. The event marked the unveiling of the first Applied LNG production facility in North Texas.
A Monumental Project
Located 30 minutes south of Dallas, in Midlothian’s RailPort Business Park, the plant will have an initial production capacity of 30 million gallons of LNG per year. At full build-out, it will have up to six liquefiers, for a total production capacity of 180 million gallons per year, and up to 1.5 million gallons of storage. Plans also call for an on-site truck fueling station.
The project translates into bottom-line savings for Applied LNG’s high-horsepower customers who currently use diesel or propane fuel and are interested in converting to a lower-cost, cleaner-burning fuel alternative.
The Applied LNG production facility in North Texas will make LNG significantly more accessible to area customers in the trucking, oil and gas, agriculture, rail, marine, remote power, construction and mining industries.
“Our dream was to build this plant and solidify our continued commitment to our worthy goal of driving clean energy,” Applied LNG CEO Ed McKenna told the crowd of roughly 150. “This state-of-the-art plant, strategically located in Midlothian, Texas, demonstrates both our long-term commitment to the local community as well as our pledge to provide a reliable energy supply and outstanding service to a wide variety of customers in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.”
After months of planning and preparation, McKenna acknowledged the various partnerships that made the Applied LNG production facility in North Texas project possible.
"Our federal, state, and community partnerships are a key reason we are all here today," said McKenna. "We thank you for your vision, your leadership, and your support."
Removed Hurdles, Reduced Cost
A noted champion of the natural gas industry, Texas State Representative Jason Isaac was on hand to welcome Applied LNG and to offer insights into the benefits of natural gas — from its role as an economic driver to its high efficiency and affordability. Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, according to the American Gas Association.
Isaac said that Texas is the largest producer of natural gas in the United States and second in the world, but added that transportation costs of getting fuel to the end user are an important consideration and cost driver when it comes to the LNG market.
“One major hurdle, one major barrier for North Texas — access to liquefied natural gas — has now been removed thanks to Applied LNG,” said Isaac. “Because that hurdle is now much lower, costs have been reduced and it will be easier to get liquefied natural gas to the transportation and other markets that are right here in rural Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.”
A Mobile Pipeline
Dimitri Karastamatis, General Manager of Houston-based Mobile Energy Solutions, CenterPoint Energy, also spoke at the ceremony.
A client of Applied LNG, he said CenterPoint had been trucking LNG from Chattanooga, Tenn., but will now be able to tap into Applied LNG’s Dallas-Midlothian plant.
“We’ve been fortunate to work with Applied LNG, who have been great folks to work with, delivering LNG to our job sites so we can turn it back into natural gas,” said Karastamatis.
CenterPoint's business has grown out of the utility industry and now assists customers with pipeline outages and long-term supply.
The company performs maintenance services on natural gas pipelines throughout Texas and other U.S. markets and uses LNG as a “mobile pipeline.” This allows CenterPoint to work on a gas pipeline without interrupting service to downstream customers. As a safe and easily transported fuel, LNG is ideal for such remote applications.
“We need to educate folks that natural gas is a very clean fuel and it can help us with energy independence,” said Karastamatis.
An Exciting Future for Applied LNG
For the city of Midlothian, the ribbon-cutting event represents the culmination of a journey that began in May 2013 when Applied LNG initially inquired about land.
“It’s been a pleasure working with and getting to know this company,” said Larry Barnett, President and CEO of Midlothian Economic Development. “This clean technology in the high horsepower engine market will be an advantage to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and we are excited that Midlothian will be at the center of LNG production in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.”