That could change with a new liquefied natural gas trailer specially designed for Alaska that hit the roads for the first time this weekend.

The 75-foot, five-axle, 13,000-gallon capacity liquefied natural gas trailer was on display at the Pipeline Training Center on Monday night as it begins a months-long trial in the Fairbanks Natural Gas utility’s fleet of trucks.

The trailer, for now, is a one-of-a-kind creation between Tennessee-based Heil Trailer International and South Africa-based GasCon coordinated by Western Cascade Trucking Equipment. It combines a larger-than-average cryogenic storage container made by GasCon with a special five-axle trailer made by Heil.

“It’s a proven platform,” said Nathan Langford, a Heil engineer who worked on the trailer. “The axle layout and everything is proven. The new technology here is tailoring it just for the Alaskan market.”

The trailer pushes right up to the Alaska law in terms of capacity for the roads, which Heil said are higher than most Lower 48 states where most LNG trailers are designed to operate.

He said the trailer’s higher capacity will lower the overall cost to deliver gas to Fairbanks and should result in a lower cost that ratepayers will see.

“It has a direct impact on that operating cost,” Langford said. “You’re trying to supply energy to the Interior of Alaska, but you’re having to use energy just to transport it. By hauling more per load, hopefully you can eliminate a couple different hauls. And that has even a slight positive impact on air quality because you’re not putting as much emissions into the air.”

Pat Malara, president of Western Cascade Trucking Equipment, said that the long-term goal with the plan is to add on an additional smaller tow-behind trailer to carry an additional 5,000 gallons of LNG to drive down the cost even further. Whether or not the trailer sees widespread adoption as the Interior Energy Project moves forward will be determined by the trailer’s next few months on the road under the oversight of Fairbanks Natural Gas, which currently trucks up gas from Point MacKenzie to the Interior.

Dan Britton, the president and CEO of Fairbanks Natural Gas, said during the next few months the trailer will be tried out to see how it handles on Alaska roads, how it handles at the filling stations and whether or not it will make sense to add to the utility’s fleet.

“We’re going to put it into real life operations,” he said. “We’ll also be running some test trips up to Prudhoe Bay and back just to make sure that we’re getting a good feel of trucking it on the Haul Road.”

Fairbanks Natural Gas’ sister company, Titan, operates a liquefaction plant in Point MacKenzie that has supplied the utility’s customers, but the state is considering a North Slope plant as well as an additional Cook Inlet plant as it sources additional gas for the Interior.

The trailer will be on display noon to 6 p.m. today at Hotel North Pole, 449 N. Santa Claus Lane, in North Pole.