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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: April 4, 2016


  • PennDOT Selects Love’s Trillium CNG for $84.5 Million CNG Stations Project
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​EPA Launches Voluntary Methane Challenge Program to Reduce Emissions
  • New CNG-Powered Buses Hit the Road in Phoenix
  • Complete Coach Works Delivers Final CNG Bus to California County
  • U.S. Gain Partners with H&S Bakery to Open CNG Station in Baltimore
  • Illinois Transit Authority Opens New CNG Fueling Facility
  • TruStar Energy to Present at Fleet Management Expo on Transitioning to CNG
  • Crowley Sets LNG Engine in New Carrier Ship


PennDOT Selects Love’s Trillium CNG for $84.5 Million CNG Stations Project

March 28, 2016

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced at a media event that Love’s Trillium CNG team, which includes Larson Design Group of Williamsport, has been selected for the department’s CNG transit fueling station Public-Private Partnership (P3) project.

Through the $84.5 million project, Trillium will design, build, finance, operate and maintain CNG fueling stations at 29 public transit agency sites through a 20-year P3 agreement. Stations will be constructed over the next five years, and the firm will also make CNG-related upgrades to existing transit maintenance facilities.

As part of Trillium’s proposal, CNG fueling will be accessible to the public at seven transit agency sites, with the option to add to additional sites in the future. PennDOT will receive a 15 percent royalty, excluding taxes, for each gallon of fuel sold to the public, which will be used to support the cost of the project. The team has guaranteed at least $2.1 million in royalties over the term of the agreement.

PennDOT also expects transit agencies and the department to see significant savings due to the project. Based on current CNG, diesel and gasoline prices as well as fuel usage, agencies can save a total of more than $10 million annually. After 10 years, the department estimates that the project will pay for itself with the estimated $100 million in savings.

“With Pennsylvania’s natural gas resources, this project will not only bring efficiencies for transit agencies and the state, but we’re also helping establish a foothold for the CNG transportation market in areas that may not have seen this opportunity for some time,” said Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “The project’s aggressive schedule means that we’ll realize cost, environmental and operational benefits quickly.”

Using the P3 procurement mechanism allows PennDOT to install the fueling stations faster than if a traditional procurement mechanism was used for each site, resulting in significant estimated capital cost savings of more than $46 million.

When the project is completed, the fueling stations will supply gas to more than 1,600 CNG buses at transit agencies across the state. For more information, click here. Below is a list of agencies participating in the P3 project, in order of construction start times:

  • Cambria County Transportation Authority, Johnstown Facility (2016), includes public fueling.
  • Centre Area Transportation Authority (2016)
  • York Adams County Transportation Authority, York Facility (2016), includes public fueling.
  • Mid Mon Valley Transportation Authority (2017)
  • Cambria County Transportation Authority, Ebensburg Facility (2017)
  • Indiana County Transportation Authority (2017), includes public fueling.
  • Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, Allentown Facility (2017)
  • Westmoreland County Transportation Authority (2017)
  • County of Lackawanna Transportation System (2017), includes public fueling.
  • New Castle Area Transportation Authority (2017), includes public fueling.
  • Altoona Metro Transit (2017)
  • Beaver County Transportation Authority (2017), includes public fueling.
  • Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, Easton Facility (2017)
  • York Adams County Transportation Authority, Gettysburg Facility (2017)
  • Luzerne County Transportation Authority (2017)
  • Crawford Area Transportation Authority (2017)
  • Erie Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2018), includes public fueling.
  • County of Lebanon Transportation Authority (2018)
  • Schuylkill Transportation System (2018)
  • Monroe County Transportation Authority (2019)
  • Area Transportation Authority of North Central PA, Bradford Facility (2019)
  • Area Transportation Authority of North Central PA, Johnsonburg Facility (2019)
  • Butler Transportation Authority (2019)
  • Mercer County Regional Council of Governments (2019)
  • Fayette Area Coordinated Transportation System (2019)
  • DuBois, Falls Creek, Sandy Township Joint Transportation Authority (2020)
  • Transit Authority of Warren County (2021)
  • Capital Area Transit (2021)
  • Port Authority of Allegheny County (2021)


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​EPA Launches Voluntary Methane Challenge Program to Reduce Emissions

March 30, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new voluntary partnership program, with 41 founding partner companies in the oil and gas sector, as part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing commitment to take action on climate change and protect public health. The Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program builds upon the Natural Gas STAR Program, a voluntary partnership between EPA and the U.S. oil and natural gas industry that focuses on achieving cost-effective methane emission reductions from natural gas operations.

“Recent natural gas vehicle technologies are providing a positive impact on downstream emissions,” said Dan Bowerson, NGVAmerica Director of Technology & Development. “These vehicle technologies combined with new technologies upstream can enhance the emissions value proposition of natural gas vehicles.”

The Methane Challenge Program will provide partner companies with a platform to make company-wide commitments to cut emissions from sources within their operations by implementing a suite of best management practices within five years. Partner companies have committed to replacing or rehabilitating cast iron and unprotected steel distribution mains, and to reducing methane emissions from pipeline blowdowns, among other activities.

“The voluntary Methane Challenge program is one important part of our overarching strategy to reduce methane emissions, and complements regulatory efforts that will help the United States meet the Obama Administration’s goal of reducing methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2025,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.”

The new program was announced at the Global Methane Forum, hosted by the Global Methane Initiative and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which brought together hundreds of policymakers and industry experts from more than 50 countries to discuss strategies to reduce global methane emissions.

Learn more about the Methane Challenge Program, click here.

New CNG-Powered Buses Hit the Road in Phoenix

March 29, 2016

The Phoenix Public Transit Department has ordered 120 new buses to serve the city’s local routes, the first order for new 40-foot buses since late 2013.

The new CNG-powered buses, which were built in California by the Gillig Corporation, have a range of at least 400 miles. The new buses replace existing LNG buses that average 12 years and 500,000 miles of service. Some in-service buses are as old as 18 years with nearly 1 million miles.

Five to eight buses will arrive each week now through July. Once a bus clears inspection, it is sent to one of Phoenix’s three bus yards and put into service. Each Gillig bus cost $520,000 and is being paid for with both federal and county funds.

This order of Gillig buses replaces about 25 percent of the city’s bus fleet, and over the next 18 months additional 40-foot and 60-foot articulated buses will be put into service.


Complete Coach Works Delivers Final CNG Bus to California County

April 1, 2016

Complete Coach Works (CCW) announced that it has delivered the final bus for a project in California to replace CNG engines on seven buses for Yolo County Transportation District, which serves Yolo County, downtown Sacramento and Sacramento International Airport. Work on the buses, which were near the end of their useful lives, began in September and the final bus was completed in March.

“The new engines will keep the buses operating for at least six to eight more years,” said Terry Bassett, Executive Director at Yolo. “We hope this will help bridge some of our funding gaps for meeting some of our bus replacement needs as well as reduce greenhouse gases.”

The buses are also being equipped with new CNG tanks that will at least match the lifespan of the improvements being made to the engines.

In 1993, the Yolo district became one of the first transit agencies to adopt CNG technology. The project will allow Yolo to continue on its path of providing a cleaner transportation system to its community.


U.S. Gain Partners with H&S Bakery to Open CNG Station in Baltimore

April 1, 2016

U.S. Gain has completed a new CNG station in partnership with H&S Bakery, a bakery provider for McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants. The fast-fill station is located at the intersection of I-95 and I-895 in Baltimore and is open to all CNG fleets and the public.

Located near their distribution center, the Baltimore station not only gives the H&S Bakery fleet a strategic fueling location, but also contributes to their own commitment to improve sustainability efforts.

“This is a great partnership and one we encourage other carriers to consider,” said Michael Jones from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and Maryland Cities Coalition. “Utilizing natural gas as a transportation fuel offers significant economic and air quality benefits. CNG emits fewer air pollutants than conventional diesel fuel, so everyone benefits.”

A $500,000 award from the Maryland Natural Gas Refilling Station Grant Program helped to fund the project.


Illinois Transit Authority Opens New CNG Fueling Facility

April 1, 2016

Pace, the transit authority that services the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, is transition its fleet of diesel buses with models powered by CNG. Pace leaders were joined earlier this week by federal, state and local officials at the dedication of an all-new fueling facility at its South Division garage in Markham. When the buses enter service this summer, Pace will be the first transit agency in the Chicago area and the third in the state to adopt CNG technology for its fleet.

Pace has taken delivery of its first 20 CNG buses, with an additional 71 on order that will replace the remaining diesel buses at Pace South Division upon arrival. The first CNG buses will enter service this summer following completion of vehicle testing, staff training and additional garage retrofits to accommodate the CNG vehicles. Once the entire South Division fleet is converted to CNG-powered buses, Pace estimates up to $1 million will be saved on its fuel costs versus what is spent today on diesel fuel.

Pace also opted for the cleaner burning fuel to meet ever-tightening EPA emissions guidelines without costly equipment designed to trap particles that diesel engines release into the air.


TruStar Energy to Present at Fleet Management Expo on Transitioning to CNG

March 30, 2016

TruStar Energy announced that Anthony Flynn, Southeast Sales Director at TruStar Energy, will address challenges and opportunities in converting fleets to CNG at the Fleet Management Expo in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 5.

The session, co-hosted with Andrew Burnham of Argonne National Laboratory, is titled “CNG Vehicles Moving Forward: Thinking about converting but haven’t made the switch?” Flynn will provide a picture on the feasibility of CNG conversion, as well as insights and resources for fleet managers to use to keep conversion and fueling projects on track and under budget through the transition process.

In 2015, TruStar completed 41 stations for public and private use, almost doubling the number of CNG stations from 2014.


Crowley Sets LNG Engine in New Carrier Ship

March 29, 2016

Crowley Maritime Corporation reached another milestone with the recent setting of the main engine onto El Coquí, the first of two new Commitment Class ConRo ships that will be powered by LNG for use in in the ocean cargo trade between Jacksonville and Puerto Rico.

“This state-of-the-art engine technology will add efficiency while continuing to reduce impacts on the environment, one of Crowley’s top priorities,” said John Hourihan, senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico services.

The engine was placed using a series of heavy lifts by 500-ton cranes in the shipyard of VT Halter Marine, where El Coquí and sister ship Taíno are under construction.  The engine has a total weight of 759 metric tons and measures 41 ft. high, 41 ft. in length, and 14.7 ft. wide.