The Flying J truck stop and fueling station in Middlesex Township is scheduled to get liquefied natural gas pumps in April as part of efforts by California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to expand natural-gas pumping stations for transportation.
Clean Energy Fuels is working through the approval process for the Flying J project at 1501 Harrisburg Pike and will soon begin construction on the pumps there, said Brian Crabtree, Clean Energy Fuel's business development manager in Pennsylvania.
The company, started in 1996 by energy mogul T. Boone Pickens and current President and CEO Andrew Littlefair, is building 150 pumping stations across the country for liquefied natural gas, or LNG, he said. Clean Energy Fuels has 72 stations operational already, he said.
"We're building a highway to eliminate the chicken and egg theory," Crabtree said.
He's referring to the dilemma facing natural gas, where companies are less likely to transition their truck fleets to it if the infrastructure isn't there to support fueling.
However, there's a growing demand for the fueling stations, Crabtree said. Large companies, such as manufacturers, are requiring trucking firms they use to make the switch to natural gas as part of efforts to improve environmental impact performance, he said.
Each of the fueling stations that is operational or under construction is spaced about 250 miles apart, where 300 miles is the safe operational distance between fueling for LNG trucks, Crabtree said.
The company has built two other LNG stations in Pennsylvania, he said. One is in Westmoreland County, near Pittsburgh, and the second is in Clinton County off Interstate 80 near Lock Haven.
Flying J is a brand of Pilot Flying J, the Knoxville, Tenn.-based company operating hundreds of truck stops and travel centers around the country.