TravelCenters of America, Shell Forge Natural Gas Agreement

Will sell LNG through TA's network of fueling centers

Published in CSP Daily News

WESTLAKE, Ohio & HOUSTON -- TravelCenters of America LLC (TA) said that it has entered a memorandum of understanding with Shell Oil Products US and its affiliates to construct and operate a network of liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling lanes at TA locations along the U.S. Interstate Highway System.

The deal specifies that Shell will construct and TA will operate at least 200 natural gas fueling lanes in at least 100 TA locations. Customer demand will determine if TA adds additional locations. The companies will jointly select the sites with the intention of creating the infrastructure required to allow natural gas-powered trucks to travel across the United States.

TA today operates a nationwide network of 238 travel centers, almost all of which are located at Interstate Highway System exits. TA's locations operate under the brand names TravelCenters of America, TA and Petro Stopping Centers.

A typical TA location has more than 20 acres for truck and motorist parking, a large convenience store, sitdown and quick-serve restaurants and a large, multi-bay truck repair and maintenance facility. In order to facilitate the introduction of natural gas-powered vehicles to the interstate trucking industry, TA said that it expects to a train and equip a sufficient number of TA's 3,000 repair technicians, 1,000 truck service bays and 400 Road Squad emergency roadside repair vehicles to service natural gas-powered truck engines.

TA and Shell will complete the details of the agreement during an exclusive negotiating period, and they expect the first natural gas fueling lanes for trucks traveling along the U.S. Interstate Highway System to be operational at TA locations during 2013.

"TA is pleased to be partnering with Shell, one of the largest energy companies in the world, to create the infrastructure necessary to offer TA's trucking company customers an alternative fuel choice," said Thomas M. O'Brien, managing director, president and CEO of TA. "TA is especially pleased to be helping ensure America's energy independence."

Houston-based Shell Oil Co. is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies.

TA, based in Westlake, Ohio, is the largest full service travel center business in the United States, with locations in 41 states and Canada. With 238 convenient locations off interstate highway exits, TA and Petro locations offer customers diesel and gasoline fueling services, full- and quick-service restaurants, 24-hour convenience stores, heavy-truck maintenance services, RoadSquad emergency roadside service, electronic communications (WiFi) and other services all within large, high-traffic facilities.