The diversification continues for the French oil conglomerate that now bets on the natural gas market for heavy-duty trucks in the United States. To do so, Total will spend more than 83 million dollars to own a quarter of Clean Energy, and thus become its major shareholder. The latter, a relatively new company, currently operates more than 550 gas stations in North America.

A win-win situation 

On the one hand, Total will now take a step forward on the American continent, while promoting more eco-friendly types of energy thanks to this agreement. Its CEO Patrick Pouyanné insists on the fact that “natural gas can become the fuel of choice”, adding that “Total believes there is a strong development opportunity in natural gas for the transportation market”, especially in the US. This program is fully in line with the group’s strategy: to multiply its natural gas operations in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to expand its activities around the world.

Total and its gas activities around the globe (Source : Total website)

On the other hand, Clean Energy, one of the leading providers of natural gas fuel and renewable natural gas (i.e. biomethane) fuel for transportation, benefits from this buyback program as well. The company will receive major financial support for its massive project - a leasing offer for heavy-duty trucks running on natural gas - for which Total will provide guarantees of up to 100 million dollars to Clean Energy.

This project, set to be launched in the third quarter 2018, aims to put thousands of trucks on the road that are equipped with natural gas engines rather than diesel, which is much more polluting. Stakeholders should approve this transaction during the general meeting planned on June 8, the last condition for the investment of the French group to go ahead.