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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: October 5, 2015

  • Tighter Ozone Standard Could Create New Opportunities for NGVs
  • NGVAmerica Comments on Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Proposal
  • FTA $22.5 Million for Low or No Emission Transit Buses
  • 2015 North American NGV Conference & Expo PowerPoint Presentations Available
  • Business Leaders Announce Formation of Clean Fuels Michigan
  • Omnitrans Awards New Flyer a Contract for up to 217 Xcelsior Buses
  • TruStar Energy Builds CNG Fueling Station for All Waste
  • S. Gain Partners with Questar Fueling in Kansas City
  • CarterEnergy Celebrates Grand Opening of CNG Station in Kansas
  • APG to Finalize Installation of Modular Flare Capture & Recovery System
  • Parker Acquires President Engineering Group to Strengthen LNG Services

Tighter Ozone Standard Could Create New Opportunities for NGVs

October 5, 2015

On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a new national standard for ozone air quality.  The move could pave the way for more natural gas vehicles.  The new standard requires that average ozone levels be no more than 70 parts per billion, an increase in stringency from the current standard of 75 parts per billion established in 2008.

Ozone, or smog as it is sometimes called, “causes a number of harmful effects on the respiratory system, including difficulty breathing and inflammation of the airways.”  Ozone alert days most often occur during the summer months when temperatures are high and there is lots of sunlight.  A key contributor to ozone is nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is created in the combustion process in engines.  Natural gas engines offer superior benefits with the lowest NOx emissions among transportation fuels used today in high fuel use, medium- and heavy-duty trucking.

Cummins Westport Inc. (CWI) has received recent accolades after receiving CARB certification for an 8.9-liter natural gas engine that was certified to the cleanest standard available for NOx (0.02 g/bhp-hr) and demonstrated actual emissions far below even this level.  These engines will enter the market in 2016.

As required by the Clean Air Act, EPA anticipates making attainment/nonattainment designations for the revised standards by late 2017; those designations likely will be based on 2014–2016 air quality data.  For more information on the designations schedule and the rule, visit the EPA website.

NGVAmerica issued a press release on the subject that can be viewed here.


NGVAmerica Comments on Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Proposal

October 5, 2015

On Thursday, NGVAmerica submitted comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) and fuel efficiency requirements for new heavy-duty vehicles.  The comments commended the agencies for their hard work in crafting the proposal.  NGVAmerica also indicated its support for the objectives of the rulemaking: reduced greenhouse gas emissions, fuel savings and petroleum reductions.  The rules take effect starting in 2019 for trailers and 2021 for engines and trucks. The Phase 2 rulemaking (Phase 1 rules were finalized in 2011) includes requirements for engines, trailers, and complete trucks and sets different levels of stringency for different categories of vehicles (e.g., large pickup trucks, vocational vehicles, transit buses, tractor trailers, etc.).

With respect to NGVs, we commented on nearly a dozen issues.  We indicated our support for the continued use of the global warming factor for methane (i.e. GWP 25) that EPA uses for numerous other programs.  We supported the calculation of fuel economy that is based on CO2 emissions, something that gives NGVs a small advantage over gasoline and diesel engines, and the continued ability of engine manufacturers to offset methane and nitrous oxide emissions with carbon dioxide reductions.  We expressed our support for the decision to retain the way engines are classified and regulated—which means that larger natural gas engines will continue to be regulated along with and subject to the same requirements as diesel engines.

With respect to aftermarket conversions, we urged the agencies to continue to provide flexibility for small business that provide these systems.  The Phase 2 rules, as proposed, are a change from Phase 1, which exempted small business manufacturers of aftermarket systems from having to comply with the greenhouse gas regulations.  Under the Phase 2 rules, it is our understanding that aftermarket conversions will be covered beginning in 2023 (engines are covered starting in 2021 but there is a one-year delay for alternative fuel systems and an additional one-year delay for small businesses).  NGVAmerica also commented on the proposal to restrict the sale of gliders (new vehicles equipped with older engines and drivetrains).  We urged EPA to retain this option for alternative fuel systems and to also consider an increase on the number of alternative fuel systems that qualify.

For more details on the comments made by NGVAmerica or to receive a copy of our comments, please contact Jeff Clarke at 202.824.7364 or jclarke@www.ngvamerica.org.


FTA $22.5 Million for Low or No Emission Transit Buses

October 5, 2015

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently announced the availability of $22.5 million in discretionary funds for low or no emission transit buses. Of that amount, a minimum of $3 million is available for supporting facilities and related equipment.  To be considered eligible, requests involving buses should result in the deployment of at least five new transit buses.  Proposals involving facilities should similarly support at least five buses. Buses must be production transit buses that are used to provide public transportation.  The buses must satisfy the zero-emission bus, or the low emission bus definitions.  FTA defines low emission bus as any transit bus that is powered by an engine that produces lower non-methane hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen than are legally permitted under EPA’s engine standards.  Infrastructure projects can include constructing or leasing facilities, as well as rehabilitating or improving a facility used to accommodate low or no emission buses.  Applications for funding are due by November 23. The FTA notice is available here.


2015 North American NGV Conference & Expo PowerPoint Presentations Available

October 5, 2015

NGVAmerica is wrapping up post-show activity that includes providing the conference plenary and breakout session presentations to show attendees. The conference management company, the CWC Group, has emailed all show registrants a communique that provides respondents with a presentation link after a short survey is completed.

We ask all email recipients to fill out this quick survey to provide NGVAmerica with necessary input.  We value your opinions about the conference and would appreciate your confidential feedback. In addition to the survey, we also invite you to contact either Matt Godlewski (202.824.7397) or Tom Sheehan (207.925.1136) to share your thoughts.

If any conference participants did not receive this email notification, please send a request to ngv@thecwcgroup.com to obtain this information. NGVAmerica staff is currently working with the CWC Group to provide show attendees with downloadable audio of all presentations as well. A link will be sent to all exhibitors and delegates once a determination is made on where the audio files will be hosted.


Business Leaders Announce Formation of Clean Fuels Michigan

September 30, 2015

Nearly 30 leading companies and organizations in Michigan today announced the formation of Clean Fuels Michigan. The new non-profit organization aims to maintain Michigan’s position as a global leader in automotive manufacturing by advancing a clear vision, strategy, and advocacy centered on advanced powertrain technology and innovation. The overall goal is to promote investment, job growth and sustainable technologies in Michigan.

Michigan’s leadership position in the automotive industry is well known, as it supports more than 513,000 jobs and provides nearly $36 billion in annual earnings. However, dynamic forces are rapidly changing the future of mobility and 37 states have policies to promote alternative fuel vehicles. Michigan is one of the relatively few states with no incentive supporting the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles, which is why Michigan ranks 41 out of 50 states in the number of alternative fuel vehicles per capita.

“Michigan must act quickly so that it can capitalize on the developing marketplace and ultimately improve Michigan’s overall economic competitiveness,” said Chris Milani, Principal of the Rustbelt Group. “There needs to be a favorable policy climate so that Michigan can stay in the game and attract talent and position itself as the innovation leader for clean fuel technology.”

Clean Fuel Michigan will advance clean fuel neutral policies and help commercialization efforts. Additional information about Clean Fuels Michigan may be found at CleanFuelsMichigan.com.


Omnitrans Awards New Flyer a Contract for up to 217 Xcelsior Buses

September 28, 2015

New Flyer announced that Omnitrans of San Bernardino, California (Omnitrans), awarded New Flyer a contract for up to 217 heavy-duty 40 foot Xcelsior, CNG transit buses.

The contract, valued at over $119 million, includes a firm order for 15 buses with options for an additional 202 buses over four years.  With Omnitrans acting as the lead agency on this consortium procurement, the 202 options are eligible for execution by seven other participating California transit agencies including:  Culver City, Elk Grove, Montebello, Torrance, Stanislaus, Sunline Transit and UC Davis.

Established in 1976 through a joint powers agreement, Omnitrans carries approximately 16 million passengers annually throughout its 480-square mile service area, covering 15 cities and portions of the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County (approximately 1.4 million residents).  Omnitrans currently operates a fleet of 177 heavy-duty transit buses, 168 of which were built by New Flyer.


TruStar Energy Builds CNG Fueling Station for All Waste

September 30, 2015

TruStar Energy has opened a new time-fill fueling station designed and built for All Waste, Inc. in Hartford, Connecticut. All Waste, one of the largest privately held refuse haulers in the state, is in the midst of a five-year process of converting 60 of its 80 trucks to CNG. An estimated 20 refuse trucks in All Waste’s fleet are currently fueled by CNG, with 10 more scheduled for delivery later this fall.

According to All Waste’s Operations Specialist, Derek Alos, choosing to use domestic CNG dovetails with the company’s commitment to its environmental program, which includes single-stream recycling for both commercial and residential customers and using vehicles that collect both refuse and recycling to reduce the number of trucks on the road.

“Choosing to fuel our fleet with domestic CNG means our trucks are cleaner and quieter,” said Alos. “CNG is less volatile than gasoline and has no potential for ground or water contamination in the event of a fuel release.”

TruStar Energy built the station for All Waste to minimize fueling disruption of drivers’ daily routes. The time-fill station consists of a single 200 horsepower compressor and 60 time-fill fueling posts. In addition, resources for a second compressor have been installed to allow for quick expansion, as All Waste converts more of its fleet to CNG.


U.S. Gain Partners with Questar Fueling in Kansas City

September 25, 2015

U.S. Gain has partnered with Questar Fueling to add the GAIN Clean Fuel CNG brand to Questar’s CNG location in Kansas City, Kansas. The public-access station offers six high-speed fueling lanes for medium- and heavy-duty fleet operators.

As more fleet operators turn to CNG as a transportation fuel, CNG providers such as Questar Fueling and GAIN Clean Fuel work together to ensure the most convenient, economical and efficient fueling services for their customers. The Kansas station will be cobranded and will provide immediate CNG fueling to both companies’ fleet customers.

“GAIN Clean Fuel adds another CNG station to its fueling network; more volumes through the dispensers improve the station’s efficiency; and both companies are able to pass along the savings to customers through lower prices,” said Carl Galbraith, Questar Fueling general manager.

The station is located on a key transportation corridor in the Kansas City market. This location will also be included in U.S. Gain’s growing international network of GAIN Clean Fuel CNG stations.


CarterEnergy Celebrates Grand Opening of CNG Station in Kansas

September 25, 2015

CarterEnergy customers, area fleets and business partners joined in the grand opening celebration of its new Product Distribution Center (PDC) and of its first public fueling station (Cardlock) to offer CNG. The grand opening, held on Friday September 18, 2015, included ribbon cuttings, brief remarks, facility tours and a CNG fueling demonstration.

CarterEnergy’s CNG@WORK branded Cardlock, located just north of the PDC in Kansas City, Kansas provides a resource for area fleets to fuel their vehicles with CNG. The station opening proved a significant milestone which involved a seven year search for the right location.

The station accepts Voyager, Comdata, WEX and Multi Service fleet fuel cards, as well as most major credit cards. Cherry & Associates oversaw the construction of the project.

The build is a project powered by CNG@WORK, a full spectrum program that helps fleets convert to CNG. Services include low cost natural gas supply, CNG vehicle and refueling infrastructure consulting, and turnkey CNG station financing and development.


APG to Finalize Installation of Modular Flare Capture & Recovery System

October 2, 2015

American Power Group announced that its Trident NGL Services Division is on schedule for an October installation of its latest Modular Flare to Fuel Capture and Recovery System. This milestone will mark the third Trident Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) system to be deployed on remote well sites for two of the top oil and gas companies in the Bakken Region of North Dakota.

Last week the North Dakota Industrial Commission rejected a requested two year delay in meeting tougher 2016 flare requirements and established the following revised requirements for the capture of well site associated gases:

  • 80 percent of associated gases captured by April 1, 2016
  • 85 percent of associated gases captured by November 1, 2016
  • 88 percent of associated gases captured by November 1, 2018
  • 91 percent of associated gases captured by January 1, 2020

The Commission also passed a gas capture credit system, crediting oil & gas companies who have exceeded their capture goals with up to ninety days of credit if they were to fall below future goals.

In August, APG announced a license agreement with Trident Resources for the exclusive worldwide right to commercialize Trident’s proprietary NGL processing technology. APG purchased certain Trident operating assets including two existing mobile NGL processing systems and recently announced a commitment for the financing of two additional systems in response to strong demand from oil and gas operators looking for an effective solution to capture their flare on existing remote and stranded well sites.

The Bakken region has an estimated 2,500 well sites classified as remote or stranded where APG intends to initially market and expand its Flare to Fuel capabilities.


Parker Acquires President Engineering Group to Strengthen LNG Services

September 28, 2015

Parker Hannifin Corporation announced a previously completed transaction to acquire President Engineering Group Limited (PEGL) based in Sheffield, U.K.  PEGL specializes in the design and manufacture of precision engineered cryogenic valves for LNG and Industrial Gas applications and specialized equipment for mining safety applications.

PEGL had revenues of approximately $29 million in its latest financial year and employed 120 people. Their products, including the Bestobell, Conflow and Bretby Gammatech brands, assist in the acquisition, transport and storage of LNG and help monitor and suppress dust and ash during mining operations.

The acquired company has become a part of Parker’s Instrumentation Group and approximately 40 percent of revenues will be reported in the North American Diversified Industrial business and the remaining 60 percent of revenues will be reported in the International Diversified Industrial business.

“The addition of PEGL provides product and manufacturing technologies and expanded systems capabilities along with solid brand names,” said John Greco, Vice President and President – Instrumentation Group.  “We are excited about the opportunities to combine our organizations and extend more solutions to our customers.”