CINCINNATI, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced that it will be the first in Oregon to deploy a fleet of heavy-duty trucks that run on Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). The 40 trucks will replace 40 diesel trucks currently in use, and are expected to start making store deliveries in the Portland metropolitan area by the end of 2014. The use of natural gas fuel not only reduces operating costs for vehicles, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 23 percent in medium- to heavy-duty vehicles. "This is the first step in Kroger's effort to transition our fleet to alternative fuels," said Kevin Dougherty, Kroger's group vice president and chief supply chain officer. "Converting to LNG trucks will allow us to reinvest savings into lower prices for our customers while also benefitting the environment." The trucks will make deliveries to about 50 Fred Meyer and QFC stores as far south as Corvallis, OR and as far north as Longview, WA., averaging approximately 175 miles per day, six days a week, 52 weeks a year. They are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 755 metric tons per year, which equates to removing approximately 159 passenger cars from the road annually. The fleet will be fueled at a new, private LNG fueling station at Kroger's Clackamas Distribution Center, which will be designed and engineered by Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE). "These trucks are nearly identical to our diesel fleet, which allows us to have minimal impact on operations and still achieve the same caliber and standard of performance," said Matt Hoffman, Kroger regional logistics director, based in Portland. "They are truly the prototype truck of the future – the safest, cleanest and quietest way for our hard-working drivers to deliver product to the stores." More information about Kroger's transportation sustainability efforts can be found at http://sustainability.kroger.com. Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs more than 375,000 associates who serve customers in 2,640 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 786 convenience stores, 320 fine jewelry stores, 1,240 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club. SOURCE The Kroger Co.