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3M Company (MMM - Analyst Report) recently completed the NGV2-2007 certification process – the American National Standards Institute code and specification for CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicle cylinders for its first CNG tank. The 21.5 x 60 inch tank, designed for corporate fleet vehicles, offers greater capacity and is affordable compared to other similar tanks.

3M has collaborated with Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK - Analyst Report) to design, manufacture and market a portfolio of CNG tanks across the transportation market in the U.S. At present, Chesapeake is converting its fleet of nearly 5,000 vehicles to run on CNG and is expected to emerge as one of the first end users of the new CNG tank for its fleet.

This new tank will be cost effective and provide more range and payload capacity for vehicles. This partnership signals the growing strength of the natural gas transportation market.

For a CNG vehicle, fuel cost has been a perennial concern. It has taken a toll on the business and consumers and has brought about the need for alternative options to meet the growing demands of transportation. 3M’s tank would enable the companies to take advantage of the benefits of natural gas as a transportation fuel.

3M together with its subsidiaries operates as a diversified technology company with manufacturing operations spread over 70 countries worldwide. It has more than 35 business units organized into six segments: Consumer and Office, Display and Graphics, Electro and Communications, Healthcare, Industrial and Transportation, Safety, Security and Protection Services. The company remains focused on inventing new products, with its scientists and innovators enjoying a competitive advantage worldwide.

However, the company needs to be wary of tough competition from other players in the industry such as Federal Signal Corp (FSS - Snapshot Report) and Tyco International Ltd (TYC - Analyst Report).  3M currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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