Total Buys into US Trucking
French major Total has agreed to invest $183.4mn in LNG heavy-duty trucking in the US, it said May 10. Of that, $100mn will be in credit to support Clean Energy's LNG truck leasing programme in the summer, and the other $83.4mn are to buy shares in Clean Energy, making Total the largest stockholder with ownership of 25% of Clean Energy’s outstanding shares of common stock.
The truck leasing programme is intended to place thousands of new natural gas heavy-duty trucks on the road and fuelling at Clean Energy stations. It 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 CEO Patrick Pouyanne said that there was demand everywhere for cleaner transportation, especially in the heavy-duty market, and gas can become the fuel of choice. And the US particularly 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,” he said.
Clean Energy CEO Andrew Littlefair said: “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.... Launching the financing program should expedite the adoption of natural gas as the most environmentally friendly fuel for the trucking industry.”
Total's transaction is subject to, among other things, Clean Energy obtaining the approval of its stockholders’ meeting, which was originally scheduled for May 30, 2018 and which Clean Energy is announcing will be postponed to June 8.