CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming could benefit from private development of a liquefied natural gas production and distribution system to supply mining operations, railroads and other heavy industrial users, according to a new report.
Gov. Matt Mead on Monday released the report commissioned by the state and a number of private energy companies.
It states that investing up to $400 million to develop a liquefied natural gas system primarily serving the state's coal-producing Powder River Basin region could result in $166 million annual fuel savings versus continued use of diesel fuel.
The report states industrial users including on-road semitrailers are now burning over 630 million gallons a year of diesel in Wyoming.
Mead announced the report in a news conference at the state Capitol in Cheyenne. He said it fits into his administration's development of a state energy policy. Wyoming is the nation's leading coal-producing state and also a top producer of natural gas and other resources.
"It's a great opportunity for coal companies to lower their costs and also use a product that we have in abundance in Wyoming," Mead said.
The investment would create thousands of high-paying jobs in Wyoming, Mead said.
"We recognize also, that in doing this — finding high-horsepower applications for LNG — we can create another sector for the energy sector that builds new jobs, builds manufacturing, maintenance," Mead said.
Richard H. Oates, vice president of the Wyoming Machinery Company, which sells Caterpillar heavy equipment, said liquefied natural gas offers a chance for customers who currently use diesel a chance to reduce their ownership costs.
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