NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. — Dean Foods is ramping up its natural gas fleet. The Dallas-based company said it has signed an agreement with Newport Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to build a compressed natural gas (CNG) station at its Oak Farms Dairy plant in Houston. Beginning in the second half of 2015, the station will be used to fuel the CNG vehicles deployed by Dean Foods.

Over the next several months, Dean Foods said it will introduce 57 CNG Freightliner M2-112 straight trucks and 7 Freightliner Cascadia over-the-road tractors powered by the Cummins ISL-G and ISX12-G engines, respectively, and outfitted with Agility CNG fuel tanks.

“We see the value a cleaner and more cost-effective fuel can provide to our company, our stakeholders and our community,” said Mike Ahart, vice-president of Dean Foods. “We are pleased to add these natural gas vehicles as a component of our ongoing sustainable business practices.”

As part of its overall greenhouse gas reduction goal, Dean Foods set a goal in 2008 to reduce its distribution fleet’s CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions by 50,000 tonnes by 2013 — a goal the company surpassed by the end of 2010. The goal was revised in 2012 to reduce distribution emissions 95,000 tonnes by 2020.

To help fund the initiative, Dean Foods said it has received a grant under the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program, funded by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.