There are many companies that haul liquid natural gas (LNG) for customers who use it as an alternative to petroleum-based fuel, but very few of them practice what they preach the way Pennsylvania’s REV LNG does. According to CEO David Kailbourne, REV LNG not only helps customers make the most of LNG as an alternative fuel – it does so itself. “We’re real-world living proof that LNG trucks work in the transportation business,” he says.
The company is an offshoot of REV Hoopes Transportation, which serves the energy industry with water remediation and recycling services. Kailbourne says one of the company’s clients was a large natural gas producer that asked if REV Hoopes would consider converting part of its fleet from diesel to LNG. The company, under the leadership of its founder Preston Hoopes, purchased 10 LNG trucks, and from there Kailbourne says it quickly discovered the benefits of converting to LNG. In time, the company was approached by other diesel users who wanted to make the switch to LNG, and REV LNG was established two-and-a-half years ago to serve this growing market.
Kailbourne says REV LNG serves customers by transporting LNG from producers to end-users. The company also provides customers with dispensing solutions that they can use in their own yards rather than having to rely on outside sources that are still not plentiful enough. “We source that fuel for them, we transport that fuel for them and we give them what we call the ‘instant infrastructure,’” Kailbourne says.
The majority of REV LNG’s customers are in the on-road trucking sector, but its customer base also includes other industrial gas applications including drilling rigs in the Marcellus Shale and other areas and marine vehicles like tugboats and ferries. In every market that it serves, REV LNG brings experience, expertise and a willingness to do whatever it takes to make its customers happy. Kailbourne says REV LNG will continue to lead the way in the LNG revolution for the foreseeable future.
Kailbourne says REV LNG considers itself to be in direct competition with diesel fuel, rather than other LNG suppliers. He says the benefits of LNG compared to diesel fuel or even compressed natural gas give REV LNG its greatest advantages over its competitors.
Chief among the benefits of using LNG to fuel fleets over diesel is the significant reduction in emissions it causes. Also, the relatively stable price of natural gas shields fleets from the kinds of cost fluctuations that can come with diesel. The company says LNG also has some real advantages over compressed natural gas, including faster fueling speed, better fuel economy and better range.
As an LNG distributor, Kailbourne says the experience and expertise REV LNG brings to the marketplace is another advantage. “I think, without a doubt, our company’s greatest strength is we’re not only a fuel provider, but our sister company is a traditional trucking company,” he says.
The fact that the company is the only LNG provider in Pennsylvania that runs its own fleet entirely on LNG means REV LNG knows and understands LNG better than other providers through its direct experience. Kailbourne says the company has logged millions of miles safely handling LNG on highways and can put that knowledge to use to help its customers make the transition to LNG themselves. “In essence, we eat our own cooking,” he says.
Kailbourne says the company’s ability to offer customers a fueling solution in their own yards is another way in which REV LNG sets itself apart from others. The company made the switch the LNG before a single LNG fueling station was built in the state of Pennsylvania, and although many have been built since then there still are a relatively small amount overall. REV LNG provides customers with a semi-permanent fuel tank and pump that is leased to customers on a per-gallon basis.
Room for Growth
Kailbourne says REV LNG’s greatest challenges right now are growing pains, such as finding qualified people and building a strong middle management team. He says LNG is a very specialized field and requires a lot of training and safety instruction.
However, despite the challenges, Kailbourne says REV LNG is optimistic about the future because of the rise of LNG use in the United States. He says the nation’s abundance of natural gas resources and the push to get away from petroleum-based fuels mean the industry can only grow from here. “We’re really making a commitment in this country to use domestic LNG that provides jobs and tax revenue and salaries to a variety of different entities in the United States,” Kailbourne says.