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Myrtle Beach-based company set to build clean-running LP truck

Bill Mannix/A prototype of the LP gas powered truck that Myrtle Beach-based Alkane Truck Co. plans to produce at a plant in Summerville.

A new manufacturer headquartered in Myrtle Beach is set to begin making trucks that run on a fuel that's cleaner than gasoline or diesel.

Alkane Truck Company plans to sell the cabover truck at more than 100 dealerships around the country.

The truck runs on liquid propane gas and company officials say it will be the only one of its kind in the U.S.

The truck's cab and chassis will come from China, but the engine, transmission and fuel system are made in the U.S., and it will be assembled in South Carolina.

"So when it's all said and done, we are well over 68 to 70 percent American parts and labor," said Stephen Rayborn, Alkane vice president of global sales.

Rayborn said the company plans to create up to 300 jobs at an assembly plant in Summerville.

"The only reason that we have chosen that distinct location is because of shipping from Beijing, China to the port of Charleston. It seemed to be at this point in our corporate life the logical spot to begin," Rayborn said.

The company's founder said finding places to refuel the vehicles should not be a problem.

"There's about 3,800 filling facilities across the U.S. Anywhere there's a propane facility you can fill up," said Alkane CEO Bob Smith.

Rayborn said the LP truck has fewer emissions than a gas or diesel truck, and the fuel helps make America less dependent on foreign oil.

The company plans to begin production within 90 to 120 days.

This week, Alkane announced plans to also build a larger, long-haul truck that's expected to be available by the end of 2018.

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