Chilliwack’s IMW Industries has secured a three-year, $167 million US agreement to supply China with an array of compressed natural gas technology.
The company, headquartered in Chilliwack and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clean Energy Fuels Corp, signed a master purchase contract last week with China Gas Holdings Ltd. to supply up to 416 natural gas compressors and related technologies for the construction of up to 310 public access compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in China.
“The spirit of China Gas is built on integrity, innovation and cooperation; our agreement today with IMW is an example of this spirit in practice,” said Liu Ming Hui, executive chairman, managing director and president of China Gas Holdings.
“IMW is the world-leader in natural gas vehicle compression technologies and the ideal strategic partner for China Gas as we continue to meet the growing transportation needs of our customers in an environmentally sustainable manner.”
Mark Strahl, MP for the riding of Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, hailed the agreement, which he said was facilitated through $250 million financing agreement between China Gas and Export Development Canada.
“We are proud that local companies like IMW are finding success in global markets because we know that this helps create good jobs and benefits here at home,” said Strahl in a statement released Thursday.
Under the agreement, IMW anticipates supplying a suite of its CleanGAS Technology products and services for the construction of up to 310 stations. This is in addition to the 124 stations IMW has already equipped in China; all equipment is manufactured at IMW’s facility in Suzhou-Taicang, China.
“China has grasped the potential of natural gas as an alternative to gasoline and diesel fuel and is aggressively building the necessary infrastructure to realize this potential,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO of Clean Energy. “In the coming years, China Gas and its partners plan to construct the equivalent of over half of all the public access CNG stations currently available in the United States—significant for our companies and the future of cleaner transportation in China.”
China Gas has secured financing for this transaction from Export Development Canada, which is expected to be utilized throughout the three-year agreement to help purchase the products and services under the purchase contract. An initial $5 million has been utilized for the purchase of 29 CleanCNG Compressors, which are anticipated to be delivered during the fourth quarter of 2013 and used to construct the first 19 stations.
“IMW is proud of the long term partnership we have developed with China Gas and we are eager to build this relationship through our continued support of their growth,” added Brad Miller, president of IMW.
Added Brian Nguyen, senior vice president, global operations at IMW: “This milestone agreement supports China’s significant drive towards a clean energy alternative while bringing strong economic and employment benefits to Chilliwack and British Columbia.”