Bush Airport adds natural gas parking lot fleet

Apache Corp. and the Houston Airport System have teamed up to put an eco-friendly spin on the Parking Cents lot at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
The economy parking lot will be renamed Houston Airports EcoPark Economy Lot, and airport passengers will be shuttled to the terminals in 30 new shuttle buses that run on compressed natural gas. Houston-based Apache is supplying the natural gas.

New South Parking, the entity managing the lot, amended its contract with the Houston Airport System to include the new elements, said Chanda Felder, airport system parking commercial development manager. The value for this contract year is $12.6 million which covers New Souths management at both IAH and William Hobby Airport.

Using compressed natural gas will cut the shuttle services fuel costs in half, Felder said, and will generate a savings of $200,000 per year.

We had an aging fleet where the shuttles were five to seven years old, she added. We were at a point where we considered going to go back to the diesel shuttles, so this was a prime opportunity to be eco-firendly.

The fleet will begin running on April 6, she said. Parking lot prices start at $4.64 per day. The Parking Cents shuttles typically travel one million miles annually transporting 676,000 people at Bush Airport.

We believe natural gas should play an important role as a transportation fuel, said Bill Mintz, a spokesman for Apache.

The company converted 111 of its U.S. fleet vehicles to compressed natural gas last year and expects to have 230 by the end of 2011, representing 26 percent of its fleet.

Meanwhile, Apache (NYSE: APA) has contracted with Seal Beach, Calif.-based Clean Energy to design and construct a compressed natural gas fueling station that Apache will donate to the City of Houston once completed. Apache is expected to break ground on station in a couple of weeks.

The station will be used by New South Parking to support the fueling needs of the ecopark shuttles. During the construction phase of the fueling station, New South Parking will use a nearby Clean Energy CNG station.
Apache Corp
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