March 25, 2015 11:20 AM, EDT

Dean Foods to Deploy 64 CNG Freightliners; Will Fuel at New Clean Energy Nat-Gas Station

Dean Foods
Dean Foods
Graphic by Dean Foods

Food and beverage company Dean Foods Co. will roll out 64 compressed natural gas-powered Freightliner trucks in the next few months, and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. will build a CNG station to fuel the mix of heavy- and medium-duty vehicles.

Publicly traded Dean Foods will introduce 57 CNG Freightliner M2 112 Class 7 straight trucks and seven Freightliner Cascadia over-the-road Class 8 tractors powered with Cummins ISL G and ISX12 G engines.

The CNG station, at Dean Foods’ Oak Farms Dairy in Houston, will be built and operational by the second half the year, Clean Energy said March 25.

“We see the value a cleaner and more cost-effective fuel can provide to our company, our stakeholders and our community,” said Dean Foods Vice President of Transportation Mike Ahart. “We are pleased to add these natural-gas vehicles as a component of our ongoing sustainable business practices.”

As part of its greenhouse-gas reduction objective, Dean Foods set a goal in 2008 to reduce its distribution fleet’s CO2 emissions by 50,000 metric tons by 2013 — a goal it surpassed by the end of 2010. The goal was revised in 2012 to reduce distribution emissions 95,000 metric tons by 2020.

Dean received a grant covering a portion of the vehicle costs from the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program, funded through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Through that grant program, funds are provided to reduce nitrogen oxide emission by replacing older diesel engines with cleaner-burning natural-gas engines.

“The introduction of natural gas into the fuel mix of the Oak Farms Dairy fleet is a positive step, and we are eager to help this industry-leading company succeed with CNG,” Clean Energy Vice President Chad Lindholm said in a statement.

With about 5,000 trucks including almost 2,000 heavy-duty units, Dean Foods ranks No. 16 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the private fleets in North America.