In light of the positive momentum in expanding compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling for commercial vehicles, New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) will be providing natural gas service to Morris County’s first CNG filling station. To that end, Blue Diamond Disposal, a Mount Arlington solid waste and recycling company, recently awarded Clean Energy Fuels Corporation the contract to build, operate and maintain Morris County’s first CNG filling station, and NJNG will provide the distribution infrastructure to support the delivery of natural gas to the filling station.

“During the past year, our customers have expressed significant interest in natural gas vehicles. With abundant supplies of natural gas available at competitive prices, natural gas vehicles offer an economic and environmental solution for reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources,” says Thomas Massaro, vice president of marketing and business intelligence at New Jersey Natural Gas.

“Our decision to adopt natural gas transportation solutions will generate a host of financial advantages for Blue Diamond, including the immediate reduction in fuel costs and streamlined maintenance packages – all while positively benefitting the environment,” stresses John Shortino Jr., president of Blue Diamond Disposal.

New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition (NJCCC) provided Blue Diamond with a $500,000 Department of Energy (DOE) grant to cover the incremental costs associated with purchasing CNG refuse collection trucks rather than replacing them with diesel-powered vehicles. The NJCCC grant provided Blue Diamond the opportunity to add 10 CNG trucks to its fleet. And Blue Diamond purchased an additional seven CNG trucks as part of its expansion program to CNG vehicles. The new CNG trucks are part of Blue Diamond’s long-term initiative to convert its entire fleet of 60 recycling and waste collection trucks to CNG-powered vehicles. This project is one of several across New Jersey that is being partially funded by the NJCCC as part of a $15 million DOE grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

NJNG is an original supporter of NJCCC, which aims to decrease petroleum usage of vehicles by expanding the markets for alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

“We are pleased to work with Blue Diamond, NJCCC and NJNG to better utilize natural gas vehicles to enhance our nation’s security, improve air quality and provide a more affordable source of transportation fuel,” states Peter Grace, senior vice president of sales and finance at Clean Energy Fuels Corporation. “This advances our program to support the solid waste sector in New Jersey where we have already built and are operating natural gas fueling stations in Trenton, Egg Harbor Township and Camden, as well as at Newark International Airport. There are two more underway in Atlantic City and Newark.”

Massaro points out that with thousands of refuse collection trucks on the road in New Jersey, there’s significant opportunity for NJNG to work with waste collection companies and other commercial entities to adopt cleaner natural gas fuel for economic and environmental reasons.

“Transitioning to a cleaner alternative fuel source demonstrates that we are listening to our customers to minimize the environmental impact from transportation,” Shortino says. The volatility of petroleum and diesel prices has put tremendous pressure on the commercial sector, with diesel hovering at $4 per gallon* compared to a CNG-gallon-equivalent of $2**. “Moreover, this initial transition to CNG-powered trucks will contribute to our long-term cost savings and benefit our efforts to convert Blue Diamond’s entire fleet to natural gas-fueled vehicles,” Shortino adds.

“Because of continued interest from both the public and private sectors to convert their fleets to more environmentally-friendly, less expensive and domestically produced fuels, we hope to encourage the expansion of supporting infrastructure that would accommodate the increased reliance on alternative fueled vehicles throughout the state,” says Chuck Feinberg, chairman of New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition.

Slated to open sometime in fall 2011, the new fueling facility will be equipped with time-fill posts and designed to include future expansion, including fast-fill dispensers . The station will support Blue Diamond’s initial deployment of 17 CNG trucks and the gradual transition of 100 percent of its diesel-powered refuse collection trucks to clean-burning natural gas power.

Source: *U.S. Energy Information Administration, ** CNGprices.com

About New Jersey Natural Gas

New Jersey Natural Gas is the principal subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, a Fortune 1000 company, that provides safe and reliable natural gas and renewable energy services, including transportation, distribution and asset management in states from the Gulf Coast to the New England regions, including the Mid-Continent region, the West Coast and Canada, while investing in and maintaining an extensive infrastructure to support future growth. With over $2.5 billion in annual revenues, NJR safely and reliably operates and maintains 6,800 miles of natural gas transportation and distribution infrastructure to serve nearly half a million customers; develops and manages a diverse portfolio of 1.54 Bcf/day of firm transportation and over 59 Bcf of firm storage capacity; offers low carbon solutions of clean energy through its commercial and residential solar programs and provides appliance installation, repair and contract service to nearly 150,000 homes and businesses. Additionally, NJR holds investments in midstream assets through equity partnerships including Steckman Ridge and Iroquois. Through Conserve to Preserve®, NJR is helping customers save energy and money by promoting conservation and encouraging efficiency. For more information about NJR, visit www.njliving.com.

About Blue Diamond Disposal

Blue Diamond Disposal is a trash and recycling collection company, licensed in all 21 counties in New Jersey with operational facilities located both in Mount Arlington (Morris County) and Woodbine (Cape May County). Blue Diamond provides residential service to over 100,000 households and thousands of commercial and industrial customers throughout the state. For more information go to www.bluediamonddisposal.com.

About Clean Energy Fuels Corp.

Clean Energy (NASDAQ: CLNE) ( www.cleanenergyfuels.com) is the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America and a global leader in the expanding natural gas vehicle market. It has operations in CNG and LNG vehicle fueling, construction and operation of CNG and LNG fueling stations, biomethane production, vehicle conversion and compressor technology. Clean Energy fuels over 22,700 vehicles at 238 strategic locations across the United States and Canada with a broad customer base in the refuse, transit, trucking, shuttle, taxi, airport and municipal fleet markets. www.cleanenergyfuels.com

About New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition

The NJ Clean Cities Coalition (NJCCC), is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of New Jersey for the promotion of the development and use of alternative fuels, alternative fuels vehicles, and the appropriate related infrastructure. As a designated Coalition within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, the NJ Clean Cities Coalition is one of approximately 90 similar entities across the US, and the only one in New Jersey. www.njcleancities.org

Copyright Business Wire 2010