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GE (NYSE: GE) and Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK) today announced a collaboration to develop infrastructure solutions that will help accelerate the adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel. This groundbreaking technology and services project marks a significant milestone toward increasing energy independence in the United States through the increased use of natural gas—an abundant, reliable and cleaner-burning source of energy for both consumers and commercial users.
To formalize the agreement, GE and Chesapeake have signed a memorandum of understanding on a product and services development partnership, representing a multi-year collaboration between the two companies to develop and bring to market compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation and natural gas home-fueling solutions. By improving access to CNG, which is most commonly used in light- to medium-duty vehicles such as pickups, vans, SUVs, taxicabs, transit buses, refuse and delivery trucks as well as consumer vehicles, along with LNG, which is commonly used for heavy-duty industrial purposes, dependence on foreign energy sources can be reduced while simultaneously lowering fueling costs and vehicle emissions.
The collaboration is designed to leverage GE’s global Oil & Gas technology portfolio with Chesapeake’s expertise in developing innovative fueling solutions to lower the ownership and operational costs of natural gas vehicle (NGV) fueling stations. With the development of shale resources dramatically increasing the amount of low-cost natural gas in North America, the GE-Chesapeake collaboration can help incentivize operators to put more NGVs on the nation’s highways.
As part of today’s announced collaboration, beginning in the fall of 2012 GE will provide more than 250 modular and standardized CNG compression stations for NGV infrastructure. These units, also known as “CNG In A Box™,” have gone through GE’s rigorous ecomagination-qualification process and will provide the core infrastructure to enable expanded access to CNG at fueling stations and other designated installations.