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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: November 2, 2015

  • New York Beer Distributor Chooses CNG Volvo VNM 200 Model Tractors
  • DOT to Hold Meeting on Draft National Freight Strategic Plan
  • Colorado Governor Issues Greening of State Government Executive Order
  • Light Duty NGVs Now Available through U.S. GSA and 3rd Party Leasing
  • Duke Energy to Acquire Piedmont Natural Gas for $4.9 Billion
  • Alkane Truck Company Establishes Operations in South Carolina
  • Applied LNG Hosts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Dallas-Midlothian LNG Plant
  • Piedmont Natural Gas Marks Opening of Wave Transit’s CNG Fueling Station
  • Honda Opens Its Second CNG Fueling Station in Ohio
  • Amp Trillium Expands Fueling Network with New CNG Station in Georgia
  • Westport Parts + Service Partners to Launch New Aftermarket Distribution Channel
  • Worthington Industries Acquires Trilogy Engineered Solutions Assets
  • Clean Fuels Ohio to Co-Host “Waste to Wheels II: RNG for Transportation”
  • GE Launches New Waukesha VGF Gas Engines with Advanced Controls


New York Beer Distributor Chooses CNG Volvo VNM 200 Model Tractors

October 30, 2015

Manhattan Beer Distributors recently purchased 35 CNG-powered Volvo VNM 200 model tractors for its New York City fleet. The Volvo VNM 200 models, which were purchased at Milea Truck Sales based in Bronx, New York, feature the 9L Cummins Westport ISL-G engines.

Founded in 1978, Manhattan Beer Distributors delivers beer and other beverages throughout New York City. Manhattan Beer bought its first trucks powered by CNG in 2002. Today, the company operates 110 CNG-powered trucks in a total fleet of more than 500, which are predominantly medium-duty straight trucks.

Manhattan Beer’s new Volvo models also improve the company’s freight efficiency. The company is using its single rear axle Volvo VNM 200 tractors with trailers that have 16 beverage bays to replace straight trucks with 10 beverage bays. In New York City, straight trucks are limited to 35 feet in length while combinations can run 55 feet. Manhattan Beer cannot cover a typical route with a single straight truck, but it can with a combination.
The purchase of the 35 Volvo VNM 200 models was supported by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)’s New York Truck – Voucher Incentive Program (NYT-VIP), a partnership between NYSERDA, the New York State Department of Transportation, New York City Department of Transportation and CALSTART, a not-for-profit organization that promotes clean transportation technology and administers the NYT-VIP program. NYT-VIP helped cover the incremental costs of the first 25 of the 35 Volvo VNM 200 models. Manhattan Beer has also received funding in the past through the Hunts Point Clean Trucks Program.


DOT to Hold Meeting on Draft National Freight Strategic Plan

November 2, 2015

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that the National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) will hold a meeting on Friday, November 13 to receive comments on the draft National Freight Strategic Plan.  NFAC was created to “provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on matters related to freight transportation in the United States.”  It also is charged with developing a National Freight Strategic Plan.  According to DOT, “the draft Plan describes the freight transportation system, including major corridors and gateways, and assesses the physical, institutional, and financial barriers to improvement. Importantly, the draft Plan also recommends specific strategies to help support our freight transportation system through improved planning, dedicated funding streams, and innovative technologies.”

A review of the draft plan indicates that there is almost no discussion of the role of alternative fuels or natural gas vehicles aside from an acknowledgement of how natural gas can help reduce emissions and petroleum use.  The limited coverage is surprising given the significant opportunities for natural gas to reduce costs of U.S. freight carriers and thereby improve economic competitiveness.  This benefic has not been lost on the current Congress as the House and Senate transportation bills include provisions directing the government to support the advancement of alternative fuel corridors.

Information about NFAC and the draft plan is available here. The DOT notice indicates that comments that are intended to be considered for the upcoming meeting should be submitted by November 6 but additional comments may be submitted after that time. Persons who wish to attend the public meeting should request to do so by November 6.  An email should be sent to freight@dot.gov. The notice appearing in the Federal Register is available here.

For more information, contact Jeff Clarke at 202.824.7364 or jclarke@www.ngvamerica.org.


Colorado Governor Issues Greening of State Government Executive Order

November 2, 2015

On October 28, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper issued an executive order that calls for, among other things, one and five year goals for reducing petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions. The Greening of State Government Executive Order (EO) D 2015-013 includes provisions intended to bolster Colorado state government’s commitment to efficiency and sustainability.  The EO creates the Greening Government Leadership Council, which will be formed by designees from state executive agencies.

In the area of transportation, the order calls annually reducing per vehicle petroleum consumption by 4 percent and 20 percent overall by 2020, compared to 2015 baseline fuel consumption.  The order also calls for an overall fleet-wide reduction of petroleum consumption by 15 percent during the same time period.  With regard to new purchases, the order directs the state fleet and the Colorado Department of Transportation to acquire natural gas vehicles when such vehicles are available and satisfied existing statutory requirements. Colorado law requires state agencies to purchase alternative fuel vehicles if their base cost or life cycle cost are not more than ten percent greater than comparable petroleum fueled vehicle.

The EO also creates a State fleet Sub-Council that will “develop, implement, and improve programs, plans, and policies that save money, reduce emissions, promote domestic fuel use, and conserve natural resources.” The Sub-Council will evaluate a number of different policies and look at developing new procedures to allow for early retirement of vehicles and replacement with alternative fuel vehicles when cost-effective. It also is charged with evaluating alternative financing options for fleet acquisitions and ensuring that alternative fuel vehicles are included in annual State pricing agreements, and that these agreements also include alternative fuel heavy duty equipment.

Governor Hickenlooper’s Administration has long championed the use of natural gas vehicles.  Governor Hickenlooper, along with Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, led the effort to develop the State NGV Memorandum of Understanding that facilitated the purchase of natural gas vehicles by 22 participating states.  Both governors also have been strong supporter of the diesel gallon equivalent standard and the effort to secure its adoption at the National Conference on Weights and Measures.

The Executive Order is available here.


Light Duty NGVs Now Available through U.S. GSA and 3rd Party Leasing

The U.S. Government Services Administration (GSA), Office of Federal Motor Vehicle Acquisitions, recently indicated that light duty CNG vehicles that are APPROVED by OEMs are now available for GSA fleets. The light duty definition extends to vehicles up to 14,000 lbs. This action greatly increases the number of NGVs available to Federal Agencies and follows a series of meetings initiated by NGVAmerica between the GSA and its members to discuss ways to expand NGV offerings.  Federal Agencies must use GSA Schedule 751 commercial leasing of Natural Gas Vehicles to acquire these vehicles.  Because GSA schedule 751 leasing is done through 3rd party-commercial leasing companies, Federal Agencies will be able to benefit from any available Federal and/or State tax credits.


Duke Energy to Acquire Piedmont Natural Gas for $4.9 Billion

October 26, 2015

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas have approved a definitive agreement for Duke Energy to acquire Piedmont for approximately $4.9 billion in cash. Both companies have played leading roles in supporting economic development in the Carolinas and establishing the Charlotte region as a major hub for energy companies. Duke Energy and Piedmont also are key partners in the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline that will be the first major natural gas pipeline to serve Eastern North Carolina.

“The strategic combination of our two companies will deliver compelling value to our shareholders, greatly expand our platform for future growth, enhance our ability to provide excellence in customer service and give our employees more opportunities in one of the largest energy companies in the United States,” said Tom Skains, chairman, president and CEO of Piedmont Natural Gas.


Alkane Truck Company Establishes Operations in South Carolina

October 29, 2015

Alkane Truck Company, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of commercial trucks, is establishing new Lowcountry manufacturing operations in Dorchester County, a move that is expected to create more than 300 jobs in Summerville, South Carolina. Established in 2012 and headquartered in Myrtle Beach, Alkane Truck Company specializes in medium duty trucks, medium heavy trucks and heavy duty tractors that run on CNG, LNG and propane.

This month, the company announced a brand new line of alternative fuel vehicles—the Alkane Class 7 cab-over truck. Once full production of these trucks begins in the first quarter of 2016, they will be sold throughout the company’s established network of approximately 130 truck dealership locations in the U.S. and Canada.

To produce the new product line, Alkane is leasing an existing manufacturing facility in Summerville. The 100,000 sq. ft. facility will employ more than 300 automotive technicians once it reaches full capacity within the next two years.

“Alkane’s decision to invest in Summerville and create 300 new jobs there proves that when a company is looking for a place to build their product, they don’t have to look any farther than South Carolina and our people,” said Governor Nikki Haley. “We couldn’t be happier to celebrate the 300 new jobs Alkane is bringing to Dorchester County, and we are proud to congratulate this great company for all of the success they have found here.”

For more information on the company, visit www.alkanetruckcompany.com.


Applied LNG Hosts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Dallas-Midlothian LNG Plant

October 26, 2015

On Tuesday, Applied LNG held an official ribbon cutting ceremony for its LNG production platform in Midlothian, Texas. Applied LNG will host invited guests and attendees from the 2015 High Horsepower Summit taking place in Dallas. Guests of the event will be treated to a lunch buffet and have an opportunity to tour the facility.

“We look forward to the next step of the project, making our first LNG deliveries to customers later this year,” said Greg Roche, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Applied LNG.

Dallas-Midlothian LNG, located southeast of Dallas, has an initial production capacity of 30 million gallons of LNG per year. At full build-out, the plant will have up to six liquefiers, for a total production capacity of 180 million gallons per year, and up to 1.5 million gallons of storage. Plans also include an on-site truck fueling station.

Dallas-Midlothian LNG will serve high-horsepower applications including trucking, oil and gas, agriculture, rail, marine, remote power, construction and mining that currently use diesel or propane fuel and are interested in converting to a lower-cost, cleaner-burning alternative. The plant will serve customers in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana. Dallas-Midlothian LNG’s initial liquefaction train is the company’s third liquefier along with the two currently in operation at the Needle Mountain LNG plant located near Topock, Arizona.


Piedmont Natural Gas Marks Opening of Wave Transit’s CNG Fueling Station

October 26, 2015

Piedmont Natural Gas and Wave Transit are celebrating the new CNG fueling station located within the transit agency’s recently opened operations center in Wilmington, North Carolina. Piedmont worked with general contractor Jackson Builders to design and build the refueling station and equipped it with infrastructure capable of refueling 20 vehicles at a time. The agency has two CNG buses in their “Green Wave” fleet and plans to acquire a total of 18 CNG buses by 2018.

“We chose to use CNG as an alternative fuel because of its lower cost, reduced price volatility and lower carbon footprint,” said Albert Eby, Wave Transit’s executive director. “Wave Transit is committed to meeting the needs of our passengers, and we are confident that using natural gas will benefit our agency and our community for years to come.”

Piedmont is working with other corporate fleet owners and municipalities to install dedicated CNG refueling facilities at their locations, and Piedmont also operates 10 public CNG refueling stations throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. In addition, Piedmont has converted approximately one-third of its own corporate fleet to vehicles that run on CNG.


Honda Opens Its Second CNG Fueling Station in Ohio

October 28, 2015

Honda has opened a CNG fueling station on its property in Troy, Ohio. The CNG station, which was designed, constructed and will be operated by Trillium CNG, is the second public CNG station located on a Honda property in North America, following one opened at Honda of America Mfg. in Marysville, Ohio in August. The station will feature two Class 8 dispensers for over-the-road carriers and can also serve customers who drive CNG-fueled passenger cars as well.

“The American Honda Parts and Service Division is pleased to partner with Trillium on a Natural Gas fueling option at our Troy, Ohio site,” Steven Bailey, Vice President, Parts Operations. “We have been using CNG in California with great success, and testing it in Texas as well.”

The fully automated station is intended both to provide service to those that have already adopted the use of CNG, and to encourage and facilitate suppliers and logistics partners to adopt and expand its use in the trucks used in support of Honda operations.

As part of its overall vision to reduce total company CO2 emissions by 50 percent by the year 2050, Honda is working to minimize the environmental impact of its parts distribution operations through its “green fleet” programs. The program is part of a strategy that has seen Honda reduce the CO2 emissions intensity of its parts shipments by 37 percent since 2009.


Amp Trillium Expands Fueling Network with New CNG Station in Georgia

October 26, 2015

amp Trillium, the joint venture between ampCNG and Trillium CNG, announced the opening of the  first public-access CNG station in the Dalton, Georgia, area. The station is located on I-75. With Trillium CNG’s proprietary fast-fill hydraulic intensifier compressor (HY-C), the new location enables three Class-8 trucks to fuel simultaneously at 10 DGE per minute. To celebrate the new station, amp Trillium is offering an opening special price of $1.99 per GGE to all customers.

This station marks ampCNG’s second CNG station in Georgia; in March 2014, amp Trillium opened a station in Perry to service Frito-Lay’s fleet. The Dalton station, which will service Dalton Utilities’ fleet, is only the second public access CNG station in northern Georgia.

“This station will give area fleet managers choices in the type of trucks they can put on the road, which helps manage their costs,” said Carl Campbell, executive director at Dalton-Whitfield Joint Development Authority.

amp Trillium now operates 23 CNG stations across the country, including in nearby Perry, Georgia, and Newport, Tennessee. It will continue to open several more in its mission to create a wide-reaching network of CNG refueling stations along trucking corridors throughout the U.S.


Westport Parts + Service Partners to Launch New Aftermarket Distribution Channel

October 30, 2015

Westport Innovations announced that its aftermarket parts division, Westport Parts + Service, has formed a distribution partnership with Alliant Power. With an initial focus on Class 1–5 light-duty vehicles through select Alliant Power distributors, Westport Parts + Service creates a single source for natural gas aftermarket service and maintenance parts. Leading service and maintenance support will include drive-in service capabilities, technical training and 24/7 telephone support.

Diesel Forward, the parent company of Alliant Power, is one of the largest distributors in North America for industry leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Bosch, Denso, and Delphi.

“Building on Alliant Power’s extensive distribution business, we see an opportunity to combine Westport’s expertise with our distribution network and infrastructure to offer quality parts and service to the natural gas vehicle industry,” said Bill Rutecki, Director of Product Development of Alliant Power.


Worthington Industries Acquires Trilogy Engineered Solutions Assets

October 29, 2015

Worthington Industries announced that its Pressure Cylinders segment has acquired certain assets of Trilogy Engineered Solutions, a provider of CNG fuel systems for heavy duty trucks.

“Trilogy’s technology and fuel system models complement our existing CNG fuel systems offering,” said Andrew Billman, president of the Worthington Industries Pressure Cylinders business. “This acquisition accelerates the opportunity for growth in our alternative fuels business and supports our commitment to provide reliable high quality alternative fuel tanks and systems.”

Trilogy’s extended-range hybrid back of cab models and vocational rail mount models complement Worthington’s current top of body models and enable Worthington to provide a fuel system portfolio for medium and heavy duty truck applications. Trilogy offers back of cab and rail mount configurations in a variety of sizes.

Trilogy’s fuel systems assembly assets will be integrated into Worthington’s Salt Lake City, Utah operation.


Clean Fuels Ohio to Co-Host “Waste to Wheels II: RNG for Transportation”

November 2, 2015

On December 2, Clean Fuels Ohio (CFO) and Energy Vision will present “Waste to Wheels II: Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) for Transportation.” The day-long conference will take place at Central State University (CSU) in Wilberforce, Ohio.

The goal will be learning and interaction leading to development of RNG transportation projects throughout Ohio and beyond. The conference will have the feel of a working meeting with panel discussions focused on key RNG project development topics, such as:

  • Basics anaerobic digestion and gas cleaning technologies;
  • Models and economics for three types of RNG transportation projects: RNG production co-located with CNG stations, RNG for pipeline injection and wheeling to CNG stations, mobile on-road distribution from production facilities to CNG stations;
  • Fleet utilization opportunities;
  • Pipeline injection and intricacies of gas marketer business relationships to facilitate utilization;
  • Policy—especially the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS)—to incentivize RNG use in both CNG and electric vehicles.

Waste to Wheels II is open and free to members of Clean Fuels Ohio, while non-members may register for $25 and student registration is $10.

For more information, visit the event website.


GE Launches New Waukesha VGF Gas Engines with Advanced Controls

October 28, 2015

GE’s Distributed Power business announced the introduction of its new Waukesha VGF high-speed gas engine models that, for the first time, combine the company’s compact gas engine design with advanced controls normally used in GE’s larger Waukesha units.

Previously used only for stationary applications before the upgrades, the new F18SE and H24SE VGF models will be available with EPA non-road (mobile) certification for air quality, allowing the units to also be deployed for mobile applications. The certification on the engine also includes coverage for certain stationary applications.

Until now, engine packagers would buy the engine from GE or another supplier and then the three-way catalyst and air-fuel ratio control systems from other suppliers. But with the introduction of GE’s new Waukesha VGF models with the emPact product offering, GE is offering packagers and end users a “one-stop shop” for the gas engine, controls and after-treatment systems.

The new VGF F18SE and H24SE engines with advanced controls already have been deployed for a half dozen successful U.S. demonstration projects. The new engines will be commercially available in the first quarter of 2016.