Why natural gas vehicles could be the future of natural gas (Part 8 of 10)
Clean Energy Fuels Corporation
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE) designs, builds, operates, and maintains fueling stations. It supplies compressed natural gas (or CNG) fuel for the natural gas powered vehicles. It also produces renewable natural gas.
As of December 31, 2013, CLNE served ~779 fleet customers operating ~35,240 natural gas vehicles. It also owns and operates 471 natural gas fueling stations.
From 2011–2013, the number of fueling stations, including stations dedicated to natural gas fuels, more than doubled from 224 to 471 during January, 2011, and December, 2013. The company’s delivery of natural gas based fuels increased by 38% during the period.
U.S. Natural Gas Highway project
The company has undertaken a project called “America’s Natural Gas Highway.” The project aims to build a nationwide network of natural gas truck fueling stations constructed on the interstate highway system to enable natural gas fueled freight trucking across the U.S. coasts and borders.
By the end of 2013, CLNE completed 85 stations—22 were open and selling natural gas fuel and an additional 28 were under development.
Clean Energy’s plants and projects
CLNE owns liquefied natural gas (or LNG) liquefaction plants near Houston, Texas and Boron, California. The Texas plant has the capacity to produce 35 million gallons of LNG per year, while the Boron plant has capacity to produce 60 million gallons per year.
CLNE has a plan to expand the Boron Plant to increase its production capacity to 90 million gallons of LNG per year. It also plans to purchase two LNG plants from GE Oil & Gas Inc. (or GE).
In 2013, CLNE recorded $352 million revenues, up 5% from 2012. In 2012, revenues went up by 14%. In 2013, the company’s CNG sales volume increased by 28.7 million gallons.
For the past three years, CLNE recorded operating losses before depreciation and amortization. In 2013, it recorded a $9 million loss, which is lower than the $34 million loss it recorded in 2012. In 2013, operating costs decreased as a result of lower station construction costs and lower vehicle equipment sales.
In 2013, CLNE’s capex went down by 55% to $87 million. The decrease in capex was primarily related to the slow down on construction of the American Natural Gas Highway (or ANGH) project’s lower than anticipated demand from natural gas trucks. In 2014, the company plans to spend $135 million to construct new fueling stations, to expand LNG plant capacity, and to purchase of LNG trailers.
Key stocks and exchange-traded funds (or ETFs)
Other energy services companies that would benefit from increased use of CNG include AGL Resources Inc. (GAS) and Atmos Energy Corporation (ATO). Some of these are components of the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) and the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY).
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