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New Liquefied Natural Gas Fueling Facility Coming to Indianapolis
Posted in Real Estate

Logistics businesses throughout the world are constantly working to reduce costs, while also being mindful of green energy goals and initiatives. Internal and external customers demand greater value, a secure transportation infrastructure and green credentials. To meet these demands, the trucking industry is turning its attention more and more to both the potential and reality of natural gas as a viable fuel source.

Enter Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP client Transfuels LLC, a Utah-based company with a focus on alternative fuels and related distribution facilities. BGD recently obtained the necessary zoning approvals for Transfuels to construct a new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fueling facility on the east side of Indianapolis.

With currently more than 15 fueling stations in the United States, Transfuels is establishing a network of LNG fueling stations nationwide. Operating under the brand name “Blu,” each of these LNG fueling stations requires approval from the local permitting authorities, often with zoning-related implications.

Benefits of LNG for consumers and industry

As the LNG infrastructure is developed nationwide, LNG-operated vehicles will become more and more common, with benefits created for other American industries as well. For instance, all of the LNG supplied to each of the Blu stations is domestically produced.

LNG is a fossil fuel. However, LNG-operated trucks reportedly cost less per mile driven than traditional diesel-operated trucks, while emitting fewer greenhouse gasses. LNG-operated trucks are also quieter.

Given that this relatively new transportation fuel source is entering so many planning and zoning jurisdictions for the first time, education is an important element when seeking local development-related entitlements. For example, not everyone recognizes that LNG is a cryogenic fluid, which means it is extremely cold, maintained at less than -256 degrees Fahrenheit. Any warmer and it vaporizes.

LNG storage tanks are specially designed to accommodate this cold fluid, resulting in a number of other safety and environmental-related benefits. While gasoline and diesel fuels are highly volatile, LNG is not. While large gasoline and diesel tanks are typically placed underground for safety reasons, LNG tanks are typically above ground. Soil or groundwater contamination is virtually impossible with LNG.

The allure of broad environmental recognition and the need to stay competitive are driving how transportation infrastructure-related businesses are transforming themselves with a focus on cleaner, cheaper and domestically driven elements. Transfuels and its Blu fueling stations are one element of this transformation. As Transfuels needed to expand its LNG fueling infrastructure in central Indiana, BGD provided the critical support necessary to accomplish it.

  • Land Planner

    Greg Ewing serves as Land Planner in the Real Estate Practice Group with over 25 years of experience in the areas of land use planning, real estate development and entitlement procurement. Greg served the City of Indianapolis for over ...

  • Partner

    Mary is experienced in all aspects of real estate development, zoning and planning law, as well as government services and is the former chair of the firm's Real Estate practice group. She is a 1982 graduate of Indiana University ...

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