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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: May 4, 2015

  • California Establishes 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target
  • Ohio Legislators Introduce Incentives Bill to Encourage Alt Fuels
  • LNG Fuel Provider Deploys First Long-Distance LNG Big Rigs
  • UPS Freight Adds 64 LNG Tractors in Pennsylvania
  • Allison Introduces xFE Package for Heavy-Duty Buses
  • SA Group Opens Transportation Fuels Laboratory in British Columbia
  • Rolls-Royce Powers the World’s Longest Journey by LNG at Sea
  • Two LNG-Powered Dredging Vessels Put on Order

California Establishes 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target
April 29, 2015

California Gov. Brown issued an executive order to establish a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030—the most aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade and a half.

“With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it’s one that must be reached—for this generation and generations to come,” said Governor Brown.

The executive order aligns California’s greenhouse gas reduction targets with those of other international governments ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year. The 28-nation European Union set the same target for 2030 just last October.

California is on track to meet or exceed the current target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as established in the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). California’s new emission reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 will make it possible to reach the ultimate goal of reducing emissions 80 percent under 1990 levels by 2050.

In his inaugural address earlier this year, Gov. Brown announced that within the next 15 years, California will reduce today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent, increase the use of renewable sources in electrical generation from one-third to 50 percent, and implement other carbon reduction strategies.

“Building on our existing climate programs, the 40 percent reduction will drive and accelerate innovation, generate new jobs, improve air quality and hasten California’s transition to a clean energy economy,” said California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chairman Mary D. Nichols.

Ohio Legislators Introduce Incentives Bill to Encourage Alt Fuels
April 29, 2015

Ohio State Rep. Sean J. O’Brien (D-Bazetta) and Dave Hall (R-Millersburg) announced the introduction of House Bill 176, bi-partisan legislation which incentivizes the use of non-traditional auto fuels in the state. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the offices of Clean Fuels Ohio, a statewide nonprofit organization that promotes alternative fuels.

Introduced Monday, April 27, HB 176 aims to promote the use of CNG and other alternative fuels in the vehicles of individuals, businesses and public transportation fleets on Ohio’s roads through tax breaks and other incentives.

H.B. 336, a bill from the 130th General Assembly and containing language similar to that in the bill being introduced, passed through the House with widespread, bipartisan support before dying in the Senate Finance Committee. It is hoped that the bill will receive similar support in the 131st General Assembly and eventually be signed into law.

UPS Freight Adds 64 LNG Tractors in Pennsylvania
April 30, 2015

UPS Freight, one of the nation’s largest heavy freight carriers, announced the addition of 64 LNG tractors to its fleet. The tractors, which are based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, join UPS’s worldwide fleet of more than 2,500 NGVs.

“Even though UPS has used LNG tractors in package operations for more than a decade, it’s still a relatively new fuel for trucking,” said Willie Rivero, UPS Freight vice president-fleet. “By adding these tractors to the UPS Freight fleet, we are aligning ourselves with the enterprise’s commitment to use natural gas as a reliable alternative to traditional fuel.”

The new tractors replace older generation diesel-engine power units and will be used on designated routes in UPS Freight’s less-than-truckload (LTL) operations. They are expected to average 600 miles to the tank. UPS’s goal is to drive one billion miles in its alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles by the end of 2017.

LNG Fuel Provider Deploys First Long-Distance LNG Big Rigs
April 27, 2015

Universal LNG Solutions (ULNG), a global bulk LNG fuel provider, has rolled out the first four trucks in a fleet of 95 Class 8 LNG trucks. ULNG says the 95 tractor-trailer trucks are the first in the country with the capability to haul 80,000 pounds of goods for more than 700 miles per fill-up.

The new Freightliner Cascadia trucks are equipped with Cummins Westport ISX 12G 400HP engines and Westport ICEPACK 240 dual tank LNG fuel systems. The fleet, which will ship goods throughout Texas and the surrounding states during a two-month pilot program between ULNG and key partners.

“Though we are the energy capital of the world, the U.S. is far behind in the LNG application field compare to its global peers in Europe and Asia,” says Jeffrey Liu, CEO of Universal LNG Solutions. “It is time to make a statement, and I believe that we should do so starting at our home turf here in Texas.”

For this reason, Universal LNG is expanding its on-road commercial fleet and enlisting its key partners, including Sancus Energy, to join the effort. The fleet will be serviced through UNLG’s network of stations.

Utilizing ULNG’s unique LNG re-conditioning technology and the Westport’s unique fuel system can eliminate venting from the truck’s LNG tank under regular truck usage, achieving a “non-venting” fleet status. Most importantly, this will allow fleet operators to effectively consume the energy purchased without venting back to the station or into the atmosphere.

Allison Introduces xFE Package for Heavy-Duty Buses
April 30, 2015

Allison Transmission announced a new series of bus models that incorporate the xFE package to its fully automatic transmission that have demonstrated improvements up to 7 percent in addition to the company’s FuelSense features.

Models with xFE are new transmissions with the same space claim and ratings as current models, but incorporate optimized gear ratios coupled with the FuelSense Max package. They have been designed to enable 1st range lock up, deliver significantly more lock up operation and operate at lower engine speeds in higher ranges to further improve fuel economy.

The xFE models are also compatible with alternative fuel engines, including those powered by natural gas.

“The new gear ratios work to achieve enhanced fuel economy in start-stop dense, low average speed duty cycles,” said Lawrence Love, executive director of global marketing for Allison Transmission. “Transit and city buses are the ideal candidates for this technology and that’s why we’re launching in those applications.”

While individual fleet results will depend heavily on the duty cycle, testing at customer fleets on four continents and in cities ranging from St. Louis to Seoul and Beijing to Rio de Janeiro, the xFE units have delivered fuel economy improvements of up to 7 percent when compared to baseline models. These improvements resulted from the new gear ratios and were independent of FuelSense features.

The new bus model for North America is designated as the B3400 xFE. Production began last month in Indianapolis.

CSA Group Opens Transportation Fuels Laboratory in British Columbia

Apr 28, 2015

CSA Group, a global provider of testing and certification services and a standards development organization, opened a new laboratory for the testing and certification of high pressure fuel systems and related components used on natural gas and other gaseous-fueled vehicles.

The Canadian government has committed to bringing emission standards in line with the standards in the United States. In order to meet this goal, the government is evaluating a number of alternative fuel source vehicles and will be introducing increasingly stringent greenhouse gas emission standards.

“CSA Group is proud to encourage the adoption of new technologies that promote sustainable living, and our new laboratory in Langley will help introduce new infrastructure and sustainable products to people across North America and globally,” said Magali Depras, Chief Operating Officer, CSA Group.

The new laboratory and office is more than 19,000 sq. ft. and provides contract testing services to all national and international standards and regulations worldwide related to high pressure fuel and fueling systems. It specializes in the testing and certification of fuel storage systems and fueling station components for vehicles powered by CNG, LNG, hydrogen and propane.

The test facility is also equipped to perform customized tests to validate the safety and lifetime endurance of low emission and zero emission alternative fuel vehicles including crush, penetration, fire and fuel ignition testing. The laboratory also provides technical information services advising on alternative vehicle safety codes, standards and regulatory compliance and offers failure investigation services related to safety incidents.

For more information about CSA Group visit www.csagroup.org.

Rolls-Royce Powers the World’s Longest Journey by LNG at Sea
April 16, 2015

Rolls-Royce recently announced that Nor Lines’ Kvitbjørn, propelled by Rolls-Royce engines, became the world’s first vessel to operate between Asia and Europe solely on LNG as the ship’s bunker fuel.

The ship sailed to Norway from Tsuji Heavy Industries shipyard in Jiangsu, China, via Singapore, and subsequent LNG bunkerings in India and Spain. It was the longest voyage ever undertaken by a vessel running solely on LNG.

“The success of the voyage from Asia to Europe on LNG provides evidence to owners of larger tonnage that LNG is not just for short sea coastal ships,” said Tor Arne Borge, Nor Lines CEO said. “The Environship concept with the Bergen engine has exceeded all our expectations.”

The Environship, which can be adapted for different ship types, incorporates a range of Rolls-Royce technologies. These include a Bergen engine powered by LNG, the Promas combined rudder and propeller, a hybrid shaft generator to optimize use of electrical power and a wave-piercing hull design. The combined technologies can reduces CO2 emissions by up to 40 percent compared to similar diesel powered vessels, dependent on operational profile.

Kvitbjørn is about to enter operation delivering cargo in ports between Hamburg, the Netherlands, and the Norwegian mainland’s most Northern city, Hammerfest. Nor Lines expects to take delivery of sister ship Kvitnos in June.

Two LNG-Powered Dredging Vessels Put on Order
DEME Group, a dredging and land reclamation provider, has confirmed its order for two new LNG-powered trailing suction hopper dredgers that will feature a “Green Passport” and “Clean Design” notation.

The ships will be equipped with dual fuel engines and LNG tanks, ensuring compliance with all of the international emission requirements within the Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA).

The first vessel will be a new generation trailing suction hopper dredger with a total length 341 ft. The second vessel will be a new generation trailing suction hopper dredger and is 253 ft. in length. Both trailing suction hopper dredgers will be built by the Dutch shipyard Royal IHC. They will be operational before the end of 2016.

Earlier this year, the DEME announced its order of two smaller LNG-powered vessels, the Apollo and the multipurpose cable-laying ship the Living Stone.