Total to acquire 25% stake in Clean Energy Fuels Corp
France-headed global energy major Total SA and US-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., a leading provider of fossil- and renewable natural gas (RNG) fuel for transportation in North America have announced that the two companies have entered into a broad strategic agreement to drive deployment of new natural gas heavy-duty trucks. Total has agreed to purchase up to 50.8 million shares of Clean Energy’s common stock for US$83.4 million, to become the largest stockholder with 25 percent ownership.
According to a statement May 10, this transaction is subject to, among other things, Clean Energy Fuels obtaining the approval of its stockholders’ meeting, which was originally scheduled for May 30, 2018, and which Clean Energy has postponed to June 8, 2018.
Clean Energy Fuels, with support from Total, also plans to launch an innovative leasing program that is intended to place thousands of new natural gas heavy-duty trucks on the road and fueling at Clean Energy Fuels filling stations.
As presently contemplated, this program will allow fleets to begin driving heavy-duty trucks with the cleanest engine in the world at no increased cost compared to the diesel alternative, while also guaranteeing a discounted natural gas fuel price to diesel. Total intends to provide up to US$100 million of credit support for the programme, which the companies expect to launch in Q3 2018.
Customers and regulators around the world are demanding cleaner transportation alternatives, particularly in the heavy-duty market. Natural gas can become the fuel of choice. Total believes there is a strong development opportunity in the natural gas for transportation market in particular in the United States which benefits from unique giant low-cost gas resources. Total is looking forward to partnering with Clean Energy to accelerate the remarkable innovation capacities of this company, said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total.
Promoting the use of natural gas and increasing its share in Total’s overall output are part of Total’s integrated strategy to expand its low carbon businesses. Total has vast experience with natural gas, with operations on five continents, making Total one of the world’s largest leaders all along the natural gas value chain, including with liquified natural gas (LNG) positions in the United States.
There couldn’t be a better endorsement for the future of natural gas heavy-duty trucking in North America than for Total, one of the largest energy companies in the world, to step up with this investment. Being a European-based company, Total is all too aware of the opportunity to transition to cleaner alternative fuels. Launching the financing program should expedite the adoption of natural gas as the most environmentally friendly fuel for the trucking industry, said Andrew J. Littlefair, CEO and President of Clean Energy Fuels.
Clean Energy Fuels builds and operates compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas stations (LNG) and currently has a network of over 550 stations across North America that it owns or operates supplying more CNG, LNG and RNG vehicle fuel than any other company in the country. In addition, it owns natural gas liquefaction facilities in California and Texas which produce LNG for the transportation and other markets.