In a move to participate in the growing natural gas vehicle market sector in the United States, three investment companies have agreed to invest $150 million in Clean Energy Fuels Corp., North America's leading provider of natural gas fuel for transportation. The investors are Springleaf Investments Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd., Lionfish Investments Pte. Ltd., an investment vehicle managed by Seatown Holdings International Pte. Ltd, both based in Singapore, and Greenwich Asset Holding Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of RRJ Capital Master Fund I, L.P.
"This investment by Temasek, Seatown and RRJ demonstrates their confidence in the opportunity for fueling natural gas vehicles as well as in Clean Energy's position as the leader in growing this market," said Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO of Clean Energy. "Our development program for fueling station-building is expanding rapidly and we welcome the support provided by the funds."
"We are steadily adding stations serving fleets in the refuse, transit, airport, municipal and regional trucking markets around the country as well as through our recently announced build out of the backbone of America's Natural Gas Highway for trucking," added Littlefair.
The $150-million investment is in the form of 7.50 percent convertible notes due in 2016. The notes will be convertible into shares of Clean Energy common stock at $15.00 per share. The closing of the investment is scheduled to occur on or before Aug. 30, 2011 and is subject to customary conditions.
The use of proceeds is intended to support Clean Energy's fueling infrastructure building program broadly, including the development, construction and operation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and the related support, management, maintenance and marketing of those stations, including the development, construction and operation of offloading facilities, related production assets and delivery trucks.
"We are honored to be a strategic partner of Clean Energy," said Richard Ong, chairman and CEO of RRJ Capital. "We like the long-term prospects of the company. Clean Energy has been demonstrating a strong track record in natural gas fueling services in North America. It is well-positioned to tap into the future growth opportunities in both the domestic market and in international markets such as China and Southeast Asia."
Commenting on the announcement, Aubrey K. McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, which recently invested $150 million in Clean Energy to support the natural gas highway program, said, "We are pleased to have introduced Clean Energy to our friends at Temasek, Seatown and RRJ, and we see this commitment by these major global investors as being very beneficial to increasing the demand for natural gas in North America and also to keeping Clean Energy in the lead for providing natural gas vehicle fueling and deployment solutions in North America."
Currently priced $1.50 to $2.00 per gallon lower than diesel or gasoline (depending upon local markets), the use of natural gas fuel reduces costs significantly for vehicle and fleet owners, reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 30 percent in light-duty vehicles and 23 percent in medium to heavy-duty vehicles. Additionally, natural gas is a secure North American energy source with 98 percent of the natural gas consumed produced in the United States and Canada.