PLANO, TX -- The Frito-Lay North American Division of PepsiCo has announced that it is ready to break ground for a compressed natural gas fueling station in Beloit, WI. The station is the first of seven to be constructed this year.
Senior Frito-Lay leadership were joined by representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Wisconsin for the Beloit groundbreaking, which is part of Frito-Lay's large-scale commitment to alternative fuel, the company reported. Frito-Lay's investment in Beloit was supported by Wisconsin and the DOE.
The company continues to expand its fleet of natural-gas-fueled tractors, and plans to have 208 of them on the road by year's end. CNG tractors use abundant, domestic natural gas as fuel, and emit less greenhouse gas than diesel tractors. Once deployed, the 208 CNG tractors will make up 20% of Frito-Lay's fleet. They will be based at 50% of the company's production locations, making Frito-Lay's CNG fleet one of the largest in the U.S., PepsiCo said.
The new CNG fueling stations will not only provide fuel for these tractors, but also will also make fuel available to other companies currently using or considering CNG-powered vehicles. The seven new fueling stations, along with three other stations that will be in operation this year, will begin at an expected annual volume of two million gals., and are projected to expand to more eight million gals. in five years.
In 2012, Frito-Lay issued a competitive request for proposal to potential partners, guaranteeing to purchase a base volume from that vendor's station, once built. This gives alternative-fuel distributors the support they need to justify building natural-gas infrastructure. Questar Fueling (Salt Lake City) and Trillium CNG (Chicago) were selected as the two vendors to build the new fueling stations. Trillium is constructing the Beloit facility and stations in Jonesboro, AK, Orlando, FL, Charlotte, NC, Rosenberg, TX, and Perry, GA. Questar will build stations in Killingly, CT, and Topeka, KS.
Frito-Lay hopes to reduce its total fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by 50% by 2020, compared with a 2007 baseline. This effort supports PepsiCo's commitments to environmental sustainability, particularly in fuel and greenhouse gas reduction, the company explained.
Frito-Lay also has introduced all-electric trucks to its delivery fleet. In 2012, the company announced it would purchase 100 commercial vehicles from Smith Electric Vehicles (Kansas City, MO), bringing the total size of its electric fleet to more than 280. These electric trucks eliminate the need for approximately 500,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.