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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: June 6, 2016

  • City of Santa Monica Awards Clean Energy Multi-Year Fueling Agreement
  • NGV Global 2017 Biennial Conference and Exhibition Set for Rotterdam
  • NGV Road Rally Continues Across Country with Multiple Stops
  • North Florida Designated as the Newest Clean Cities Coalition
  • Westport Completes Merger with Fuel Systems
  • New CNG Buses for Transit Authority in British Columbia
  • GP Strategies to Build CNG Fueling Stations for Omnitrans
  • NPU Cuts Ribbon on Second CNG Fueling Station
  • Chart Adds CNG Option to Skid Mounted LNG Fueling Station


City of Santa Monica Awards Clean Energy Multi-Year Fueling Agreement

June 2, 2016

Clean Energy announced that the City of Santa Monica, California has awarded Clean Energy a multiyear contract to fuel its Big Blue Bus (BBB) fleet of transit vehicles with LNG. The five-year deal, worth an estimated $3 million per year, will enable BBB to continue using Clean Energy’s Redeem brand of renewable natural gas (RNG), which BBB began using in January 2015.

BBB, one of the first transit agencies in the nation to contract for Redeem, will also become one of the first agencies to incorporate the new Cummins-Westport 8.9L ISL G Near-Zero 0.02

NOx engine, the first mid-range engine in North America to receive emission certifications from both U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Air Resources Board (CARB) in California that meet the 0.02 g/bhp-hr optional Near Zero NOx Emissions standards.

Big Blue Bus, which includes 200 natural gas buses, plans to replace over 100 of their existing bus engines with the new Near-Zero natural gas engine over a three-year period, making BBB one of cleanest transit agencies in the nation. When the transition is complete, BBB is expected to have reduced their NOx emissions by over 90 percent and their GHG emissions by 8,000 tons, annually. Introduced by CWI earlier this year, the new Cummins ISL G 8.9L Near Zero 0.02 NOx engine is designed for medium-duty truck, urban bus, school bus and refuse applications and is available on the market today. Cummins-Westport plans to begin delivering an 11.9L version that is also EPA and CARB certified in 2018.

“The City of Santa Monica has a deep commitment to the people and environment in our community,” said Ed King, BBB’s Director of Transit. “By combining the environmental benefits of RNG with the technological advances of this engine, we are proud to say that we are in fact, one of the cleanest transit agencies in the nation.”

The City of Santa Monica is a nationally recognized leader for its sustainability policies and actions. BBB has progressively contributed to the City’s sustainability narrative through its use of alternative fuel and ultimate phasing out of diesel-fueled motor coaches. Through this commitment, clean burning RNG and the new 0.02 NOx engine will power BBB’s entire fleet.

“With Redeem RNG and the implementation of the new Near-Zero engine, we are about to witness the future of the transportation industry and the incredible advances we’ve made in reducing the impact on the environment,” said Peter Grace, Clean Energy’s senior vice president for sales and finance.


NGV Global 2017 Biennial Conference and Exhibition Set for Rotterdam

June 4, 2016

NGV Global’s 15th Biennial Conference and Exhibition—NGV Global 2017—has been set for March 21 to 23, 2017 at the Ahoy Convention Center and Arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands. NGV Global 2017 is the world’s leading natural gas conference, bringing together sustainable transportation stakeholders from around the world—fleets, technology companies, OEMs, infrastructure developers, fuel providers, and Government representatives and policymakers—to discuss the growing global use of natural gas in the transportation sector.

NGV Globals says important market drivers have brought the event to Rotterdam next year as a focus of alternative fuel developments both in Europe and internationally. New standards and policies are in place, the oil price is slowly but surely edging upward, emissions targets are known, gas supply is secure and the price is low, and there are exciting discussions taking place between stakeholders about the synergies of fuel supply for on-road, off-road, inland waterways and coastal shipping. NGV Global will lead that discussion at the conference in Rotterdam that will focus on policy, technology and implementation.

The change of venue from St. Petersburg in 2016 to Rotterdam in 2017 has received support from NGVA Europe, NGV Italy and NGV Global Sponsors and Members, and has already captured interest as an exciting location and natural gas mobility hub. Following the announcement of the new location during the NGV Italy event in Bologna last week, several companies have already moved to secure exhibition space at the Ahoy.


NGV Road Rally Continues Across Country with Multiple Stops

June 6, 2016

The “From Sea to Shining Sea Road Rally” continues across the across the country with successful stops in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Memphis, Tennessee. The coast-to-coast tour is showcasing a fleet of CNG vehicles as they travel through 13 cities, from Long Beach, California, to Washington, D.C., from May 30 to June 10. The purpose of the rally is to demonstrate the viability of natural gas as an alternative fuel source and to educate the public about the benefits of natural gas vehicles.

In Albuquerque, the local Love’s Travel stop CNG station located off I-40 hosted the event. The Albuquerque Transit Department is one of the local users of natural gas with its fleet of CNG ABQ Ride buses. Albuquerque also serves as an important fueling hub for heavy duty NGVs passing through the area. Sherrie Merrow, NGVAmerica’s Chair, State Government Advocacy Committee, was on hand and spoke at the event to help tout the benefits of natural gas as a transportation fuel.

In Oklahoma City, NGVAmerica President Matthew Godlewski spoke alongside Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and other NGV advocates. Fallin confirmed the state’s commitment to encouraging further CNG development. Already, CNG retailers recently met a Fallin administration goal of having at least one CNG filling station every 100 miles on the state’s interstate highways.

“Natural gas is an abundant source of energy, a clean source of energy and one that can save money for our state and nation,” said Fallin. “And it’s a national security issue when we are using American-made energy.”

In Little Rock, the Rally stopped at the City of Little Rock’s CNG station. The City displayed various NGVs, including a Rock Region Metro CNG bus, CNG trolley and CNG tractor. An awards ceremony was held to honor several state and community leaders who have helped shape the CNG market in Arkansas. Representatives answered questions, and the event featured fueling demonstrations.

In Memphis, Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW), a local advocate and user of natural gas as a transportation fuel, hosted the Rally stop. MLGW opened its South CNG Filling Station last year, the second owned by the company, and MLGW operates a fleet of nearly 100 NGVs.

NGVAmerica, the American Public Gas Association (APGA), and American Gas Association (AGA) are the “From Sea to Shining Sea Road Rally” presenting sponsors. The Rally will continue with stops in Trenton, Dickson and Sevierville, Tennessee; Rock Hill, South Carolina; Greenville, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; and Washington, DC.


North Florida Designated as the Newest Clean Cities Coalition

June 6, 2016

Clean Cities announced the addition of a new partner last month in the effort to reduce our nation’s dependence on petroleum—the brand-new North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition. Through its network of nearly 100 coalitions across the country, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Cities program brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, reduce idling, and improve fuel economy.

Becoming a member of Clean Cities was the culmination of many years’ worth of hard work. Communities interested in establishing a coalition first gather together local stakeholders, including vehicle fleet managers, policymakers, utilities, alternative fuel suppliers, vehicle manufacturers and trade groups. This group, led by a coordinator, then creates a strategy specific to their area. By researching the local market, setting goals, and developing action items, they create a path forward to help their region use less traditional petroleum fuel for transportation.

North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition has more than 100 stakeholders, many of whom have made considerable investments in alternative fuel vehicles. For example, the coalition is working with the City of Jacksonville as they purchase seven new CNG sanitation trucks—the City’s first effort to convert their fleet to alternative fuels. The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization is the coalition’s host organization.

The coalition estimates that it displaced nearly 2.5 million gallons of petroleum in 2014 with a variety of strategies and the increased use of natural gas and other alternative fuels.


Westport Completes Merger with Fuel Systems

June 1, 2016

Westport Fuel Systems has completed the merger between Westport Innovations and Fuel Systems Solutions, following the shareholders of both companies approving the merger.

The merged company will be named Westport Fuel Systems Inc., which brings together a complementary mix of products, technology and research and development; strong customer relationships; and experienced employees.

“This is an exciting day as we bring together the best expertise, cutting-edge technology, innovation and leading product offerings in the natural gas industry for automotive and industrial applications,” said David Demers, CEO of Westport Fuel Systems. “In the coming months, we will relentlessly focus on creating value for our customers and shareholders by capturing cost synergies as well as leveraging our deep original equipment manufacturer (OEM) relationships, scale and global reach.”

In addition, Westport has made changes to its board of directors in connection with the completion of the merger.  Mariano Costamagna, Colin S. Johnston and Anthony Harris have joined the combined company’s board of directors to fill vacancies created by the resignation of Philip Hodge, Gottfried “Guff” Muench and Joseph Caron.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Philip, Guff and Joseph for their expertise and commitment to Westport,” stated Warren Baker, Chairman of the Board. “They have all made great contributions to the Board and to the success of our company culminating with the completion of this merger.”

Westport also announced that it has received $17.5 million in cash from affiliates of Cartesian Capital Group in accordance with the amended investment agreement made earlier this year.


New CNG Buses for Transit Authority in British Columbia

June 5, 2016

The Regional District of Nanaimo in British Columbia will add 24 new CNG buses, which are expected to be deployed in January 2017. The new buses will replace in-use diesel powered buses.

The regional district will lease the buses from B.C. Transit, and the lease fees will increase to $1.8 million from $1.6 million, according to the Nanaimo News Bulletin. The district anticipates a significant reduction in maintenance and fuel costs that will help offset the lease cost of the new buses.

In March of 2014, Nanaimo deployed 25 New Flyer 40-ft. Xcelsior CNG buses, the first natural gas buses to be added to BC Transit’s fleet of approximately 650 heavy duty buses.

“CNG New Flyer buses will help play an integral role in achieving our region’s environmental and economic goals,” said Diane Brennan, Regional District of Nanaimo Transit Select Committee Chair.


GP Strategies to Build CNG Fueling Stations for Omnitrans

June 1, 2016

GP Strategies has signed a contract to design and construct two CNG fueling stations in San Bernardino and Montclair, California for the Omnitrans public transit agency. The contract value exceeds $7 million, and the project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

GP Strategies, the engineering services provider, equipment integrator and turnkey general contractor on the projects, will be working with Omnitrans to customize the CNG fueling stations to suit the needs of their regional fleets. Each station includes new natural gas and electrical supply, multiple 400-horsepower CNG compressors, CNG storage and two to three CNG dispensers. GP Strategies will also provide one year of maintenance for the stations, with the possibility of Omnitrans exercising options for up to two additional years.

“GP Strategies built Omnitrans’ existing natural gas fueling stations in early 2000, and we are excited to be partnering with them again to help them drive their vision,” said Michael Mackey, Vice President of GP Strategies’ Alternative Fuels division.


NPU Cuts Ribbon on Second CNG Fueling Station

June 2, 2016

Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) has formally opened its new $1.8 million CNG fueling station, a project funded in large part through a grant from the Federal Highway Administration. Congressman Joe Courtney and Senator Richard Blumenthal were on hand to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the station on Tuesday afternoon.

“Our second CNG station is a special milestone for NPU and our community,” said John Bilda, General Manager of NPU. “This facility will meet the needs of new, more efficient vehicles of all sizes and help move an important technology forward in the years to come.”

The new fueling station is conveniently located adjacent to the Shell Gas station in close proximity to I-395 and Route 2. The new station features a single dual-hose, quick-fill dispenser, and is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. NPU’s Control Room will provide around-the-clock monitoring and security.

Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut will use NPU’s new station as a backup to their existing CNG station, which is currently used for its fleet of CNG MV-1 and Ford Transit vehicles.

The project is funded through the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Congestion, Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program, which awarded a grant for $1,386,000 of the total project cost. NPU funded the remaining $414,000 of the project. The project is jointly administered by the FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), with oversight provided by the State of Connecticut’s Department of Transportation.

The grant also includes the purchase of six CNG-fueled vehicles by NPU, which include four service vans, a dump truck and a sewer jet truck, used for servicing NPU’s wastewater system.


Chart Adds CNG Option to Skid Mounted LNG Fueling Station

May 31, 2016

Chart has debuted a new LCNG fueling option to its skid mounted LNG fueling station to fuel both LNG and CNG vehicles. The skid mounted station reduces installation and commissioning to just a few days and simplifies civil works requirements, resulting in significant cost savings. The stations also can be easily relocated to another location if needed. The skid-mounted design is ideal for vehicle fleet bases, remote locations and small ports, and as a temporary fueling solution.

Chart says the compact system comes fully loaded with the latest technology, including fully automated operation, remote control access and submerged pump for a fast refueling experience. The station also incorporates the Flowcom 3000 dispenser, designed and built by Chart’s German based subsidiary Flow Instruments, for guaranteed metering and measuring.

Initially launched 3 years ago, the skid mounted LNG fueling station is in service in a number of European locations and current backlog includes an order from Prima LNG for two further stations, which will be installed in the UK for Calor Gas.