There is no natural gas pipeline in Putney, Vermont, but, at the end of March 2013, Soundview Vermont Holdings LLC began using natural gas instead of oil as boiler fuel for its recycled tissue, towel, and napkin operation in Putney. The Putney facility has been using natural gas in its boilers continuously since March 28th. Trucks from NG Advantage LLC are delivering compressed natural gas (CNG) from its compressor station in Milton, Vermont. This “virtual pipeline” is the first time that U.S. companies located beyond the reach of physical pipelines have been able to take advantage of inexpensive, clean North American natural gas.
Fuel levels are remotely monitored around the clock by NG Advantage central dispatch and Soundview automatically receives natural gas deliveries as needed. The CNG is used directly from NG Advantage trailers, so no onsite storage facility is required. The Putney plant operates 24/7 making tissue, towel, and napkin products from recycled material for away-from-home use at commercial and institutional facilities.
Soundview CEO George Wurtz said: “Lower energy costs are crucial to being competitive. Soundview is also focused on reducing the environmental impact of our products. Using CNG to run our Putney plant meets both our economic and environmental goals. Our CO2 emissions are now 28% lower than with oil and there are practically no other emissions.”
NG Advantage CEO Neale Lunderville said: “These deliveries mark an important proof of concept for trucked CNG in the United States. For the first time, we are able to bring the significant economic and environmental benefits of compressed natural gas to companies off the pipeline. This represents a game-changer for the regional economy and energy-intensive industries that are not connected to a pipeline. Our customers tell us that the cost savings are big enough to cover their conversion costs in the first few months of operation. They are also relieved not to be subject to the geopolitical uncertainties of the oil supply.”
Soundview and NG Advantage worked directly with the State of Vermont Hazmat Response Team and the Town of Putney Fire Department on all permitting and fire safety review, requirements and training. State of Vermont Hazmat Chief Chris Herrick stated, “I would have no issues with a CNG trailer traveling through my town.” Thomas Goddard, Fire Chief / EMD Putney Fire Department stated, “The officials from Soundview and NG Advantage have been fantastic to work with. Their collective attention to safety and detail has been a welcomed part of this development process. Having remotely monitored CNG trailers on site and traveling through the area is less concerning than a number of propane gas tank installations, or hazardous substances coming through town.”
Formerly, the only practical way to move natural gas to off-pipeline locations was to freeze it to near absolute zero to make liquefied natural gas (LNG). Only very large companies could afford expensive cryogenic storage. Most LNG is imported to the United States on LNG tankers. Now even large companies are considering moving to CNG to take advantage of lower domestic prices and to avoid the complexity of dealing with LNG.
LNG World News Staff, May 3, 2013; Image: NG Advantage