Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Skip to content

NGVAmerica News Week in Review: April 17, 2017

 

  • California Transportation Bill Provision Likely to Hamper Clean Truck Regulations
  • French Retailer to Open RNG Stations, Deploy Additional Natural Gas Trucks
  • Seaspan Ferries Celebrates Double Commissioning of New LNG Vessels
  • Wärtsilä Dual-Fuel Solution to Drive the World’s Most Powerful Cutter Dredger
  • Flexible and Modular “Natural Gas Operating Fleet” Concept Approved in Principle
  • California’s Air Quality Agency Pushes for Stricter Locomotive Emissions Standards

 

California Transportation Bill Provision Likely to Hamper Clean Truck Regulations

April 10, 2017

The California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition (CNGVC) says California’s recently passed multibillion-dollar transportation bill, SB 1, contains a provision that allows diesel trucks to be on the road for a minimum of 13 years but not more than 18 years or 800,000 miles, whichever comes first. It states that regulators can’t require owners to retire, replace, retrofit, or repower their trucks within 13 years of the model year or before the vehicle hits 800,000 miles.

The provision will keep polluting trucks on the roads longer and will likely make it more difficult for port operators to move to ultralow-emission fleets. It is likely to adversely affect the State Implementation Plan and the South Coast AQMD’s Air Quality Management Plan that was recently approved. The Coalition, however, believes key agencies can continue to make progress with clean trucks plans.

“The ports of Lost Angeles and Long Beach should not let the passage of SB 1 deter them from moving forward aggressively with their Clean Air Action Plan,” said Todd Campbell, Coalition board president and vice president of public policy and regulatory affairs at Clean Energy. “They need to stay the course and avoid the necessity of state or federal agencies stepping in to mandate federal ozone attainment in less than six years.

The governor, Caltrans, and trucking industry leaders added the provision in a last-minute deal to gain support for the bill’s fuel taxes, which raise the base excise tax on diesel by 20 cents per gallon and on gasoline by 12 cents. The sales tax on diesel will also go up by four percentage points.

 

French Retailer to Open RNG Stations, Deploy Additional Natural Gas Trucks

April 11, 2017

Carrefour has started rolling out its bioNGV service stations in France to further expand its fleet of vehicles running on renewable natural gas. The company’s aim is to have nine service stations to support 200 trucks operating in Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux and Lille by the end of 2017. The first of these service stations to open (in the Ile-de-France region) is the result of a partnership with Air Liquide.

The opening of the Servon service station (in the Seine-et-Marne département) near the Brie-Comte-Robert logistics hub is the first stage of this ambitious initiative aimed at delivering goods to France’s major urban areas.

 

Seaspan Ferries Celebrates Double Commissioning of New LNG Vessels

April 11, 2017

Seaspan Ferries Corporation (SFC) officially welcomed two new dual-fuel/hybrid (LNG, diesel and battery) vessels to its fleet today during a double commissioning ceremony held at SFC’s Tilbury Terminal. The Seaspan Swift and Seaspan Reliant, the first eco-ferries of their kind in North America, were formally christened by sponsors Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, and Anisa White, wife of Doug White III, Councillor and Chief Negotiator for Snuneymuxw First Nation.

“First Nations communities have a deep and sacred connection to the sea, and together, we share the responsibilities and commitment to keeping our pristine waters safe and clean,” said Steve Roth, President – SFC. “At the same time, we take great pride in the role we play as an economic driver for British Columbia by investing in new technology and equipment that keeps goods moving and creates both direct and indirect jobs.”

Following their construction at Sedef Shipyard in Istanbul, Turkey, the Seaspan Swift arrived in December 2016 and entered operation in January 2017, while the Seaspan Reliant arrived in late February and is scheduled to begin service later this month.  SFC currently operates a fleet of seven ferries out of five terminals in British Columbia, and supplies more than 50 percent of all cargo to Vancouver Island.

 

Wärtsilä Dual-Fuel Solution to Drive the World’s Most Powerful Cutter Dredger

April 12, 2017

The technology group Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply a comprehensive package of engines and propulsion machinery for a new Cutter Suction Dredger (CSD) vessel. When delivered, the Spartacus, which is being built on behalf of Belgium based Dredging International (DEME), will be the world’s most powerful CSD and the first ever to be fueled by LNG. It is being built at the Royal IHC yard in the Netherlands.

The vessel will feature four 9-cylinder Wärtsilä 46DF dual-fuel engines, two 8-cylinder Wärtsilä 20DF dual-fuel engines, and a Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel gas storage and supply system with a newly designed bilobe tank arrangement. The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yard during the fourth quarter of 2017.

 

Flexible and Modular “Natural Gas Operating Fleet” Concept Approved in Principle

April 13, 2017

Wärtsilä and COSCO shipping Heavy Industry Co (CHI) have announced the joint development of a natural gas operating fleet concept, and this design has now obtained Lloyd’s Register’s Approval in Principle (AiP) certificate. The development project was carried out under the terms of a memorandum of understanding cooperation signed in June 2016 between the three companies.

The aim of the concept is to offer global operators a more efficient and economical fleet design that meets current and anticipated environmental requirements according to the classification rules. The fleet comprises four vessels: a pusher tug, LNG storage barge, LNG regasification barge, and a floating liquefaction natural gas barge. The pusher tug can be used to transport the three barges.

The number and choice of units will depend on the project, since not all of the concept’s units are necessarily needed for every project. For example, the concept can be utilized to act as an LNG carrier (using only the pusher tug and LNG storage barge), or it can be used for more complex projects involving liquefaction and regasification systems (using all units).

 

California’s Air Quality Agency Pushes for Stricter Locomotive Emissions Standards

April 12, 2017

California Air Resources Board (CARB) chair Mary D. Nichols requested the U.S. EPA take action to adopt more stringent emission standards for locomotives, saying that the move is needed to clean up the air in “high-risk” communities in and around the nation’s railyards. The purpose of this request is to accelerate the movement to zero- or near-zero emission locomotives.

Proposed emission standards would cut toxic and smog-causing emissions by 85 percent for diesel particulate matter (PM) and 66 percent for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) below current ‘Tier 4’ levels. Newly manufactured locomotives would have some zero-emission mile capability.

Reducing locomotive-related emissions and the resulting air toxic hot spots near railyards is a high priority for disadvantaged communities within California and around the nation,” Nichols said. “A new generation of locomotives will also, once in operation, offer fuel savings to the railroad industry.

To further reduce locomotive emissions, CARB is requesting the development of updated emission standards, including standards for newly manufactured locomotives, and standards for reduced emissions when locomotive engines are remanufactured.

The proposed standards recognize advancements in technology that support zero-emission rail operation in impacted communities while also providing nationwide fuel savings for the railroads.

Nichols cites U.S. EPA’s long history of working for environmentally burdened and economically disadvantaged communities, and urges the federal agency to exercise its authority to adopt more stringent locomotive emission standards to address issues affecting public health and welfare, and so that all states can meet federal air quality standards and climate goals. California is requesting that U.S. EPA respond by Summer 2017.

The full petition to the U.S. EPA is available here.