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Kroger division takes delivery of first 11 of 40 Freightliner LNG heavy-duty tucks; replacing diesel

Oregon-based Fred Meyer Stores, a division of The Kroger Co. has taken delivery of its first 11 Freightliner heavy-duty trucks that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). Fred Meyer will receive a total of 40 LNG trucks over the next several months, making Fred Meyer the first in Oregon to deploy a fleet of heavy-duty LNG trucks. The trucks are equipped with the Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine and Westport iCE PACK systems for LNG storage.

The new LNG trucks will replace 40 diesel trucks currently in use, and will deliver product to Fred Meyer stores as far south as Corvallis, Ore., and as far north as Longview, Wash. Some of the 40 diesel trucks will be used to replace older, less efficient diesel trucks in the fleet.

The trucks will average 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 trucks are manufactured at Freightliner’s North Carolina plant.

The fleet will be fueled at a new, private LNG fueling station at Fred Meyer’s Clackamas Distribution Center, which has been designed and engineered by Clean Energy Fuels Corp. Clean Energy will also supply the liquefied natural gas for the fueling station, and once all 40 trucks are active, Clean Energy will supply the approximately one million gallons a year needed to service them.

The use of LNG not only reduces operating costs for vehicles, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 23% in medium- to heavy-duty vehicles.

LNG is a viable alternative fuel for Kroger in the future. It will serve as a bridge between traditional fossil fuels and emerging renewable fuels and technologies. We are committed to this very important work.

—Ashley White, logistics sustainability manager for The Kroger Co.

Kroger has invested $6.5 million in the project and has received a $490,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration via ODOT for the LNG infrastructure. Kroger has applied for $360,000 in grant funding from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to retire nine diesel trucks and completely replace them with LNG trucks.

Kroger measures transportation efficiency improvements by cases shipped per gallon used. In 2013, it improved fleet efficiency by 2.59% compared to 2012. Kroger has increased its fleet efficiency by 37.2% since 2008.

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