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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: May 15, 2017

  • New York City Transit Authority Purchases 110 CNG-Powered New Flyer Buses
  • NGVAmerica Makes Two Leadership Announcements
  • City of Long Beach Unveils First Municipal Near-Zero Emissions Refuse Truck
  • The 2017 West Coast-to-East Coast NGV Road Rally Announced
  • SDG&E Completes Improvements to CNG Fueling Station in San Diego
  • Upcoming Renewable Natural Gas Symposium Hosted by UC Riverside’s CE-CERT
  • Hexagon to Provide Mobile Pipeline Modules to Leading Oil & Gas Player
  • Clean Energy Names Frank Meyer as President of Clean Energy Compression
  • S. Venture Promotes Mike Koel to Lead GAIN Clean Fuel Division
  • Karsan Looks to Introduce CNG Bus to American Market
  • Caterpillar Unveils First of Its Kind LNG Test Bed for Marine Applications


New York City Transit Authority Purchases 110 CNG-Powered New Flyer Buses

May 9, 2017

The New York City Transit Authority (NYCT) has awarded New Flyer a contract for 110 heavy duty 60-foot articulated Xcelsior buses powered by CNG. The state-funded contract is a firm order for CNG-powered buses valued at $95 million.

“Since 1988, MTA has purchased over 2,200 buses from New Flyer,” said Paul Smith, Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Customer Program Management. “This will be the first time the MTA is taking delivery of compressed natural gas buses in a 60-foot configuration.”

The order follows on New Flyer’s opening of its Jamestown, New York facility to manufacture bus components. Components assembled in Jamestown will be integrated into these 110 XN60 Xcelsior CNG buses.

New Flyer boast nearly 20 years of experience developing CNG systems and delivering over 8,500 CNG-powered transit buses. New Flyer also provides a 20-year certified CNG tank and a fire-suppression system that comes as a standard feature on all New Flyer CNG buses.


NGVAmerica Makes Two Leadership Announcements

May 10, 2017

NGVAmerica announced that Mitchell Pratt, Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Secretary of Clean Energy Fuels Corp., has been appointed Chair of its Board of Directors.  Mr. Pratt succeeds Gordon Exel of Westport Fuel Systems.

“I am honored to take on this leadership role and look forward to collaborating on the shared goals of all NGVAmerica members as we work together to expand the use of clean-burning natural gas in transportation,” Pratt said. “NGVAmerica has a long tradition of effectively impacting policy throughout the levels of government and I am excited about the opportunities ahead for the organization to support a growing natural gas vehicle industry.”

Mr. Pratt is a member of NGVAmerica’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee in addition to having recently served as its Treasurer.  He has been extensively involved in the leadership of the organization over the past two years and has over 30 years of experience in various roles in the natural gas industry.

NGVAmerica also announced that its President, Matthew Godlewski, will be stepping down this month to take a position with Ford Motor Company at the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, MI.  Mr. Godlewski announced his departure to the NGVAmerica Board in April.

“It has been a privilege to lead NGVAmerica during a period of significant change in both the natural gas and transportation industries,” Godlewski said. “Some of our nation’s most prominent companies have made deep and sustainable commitments to natural gas transportation. I am sad to be leaving this organization and my friends in the industry, but excited to watch its inevitable continued expansion.”

“NGVAmerica and its members have benefited tremendously from Matt’s vision and leadership during a difficult period,” said Mr. Pratt.  “He has built a strong staff team that will continue the work ahead and I am confident that we have a solid foundation from which to effectively serve all NGVAmerica members during the transition period.”

The NGVAmerica Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Kathryn Clay, Vice President for Policy, at the American Gas Association (AGA) as the organization’s Interim Executive Director, effective May 15th.  Clay will lead the day-to-day oversight of the organization during the transition period to a new President, while continuing in her role with AGA.  Clay was also recently appointed to the NGVAmerica Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

“NGVAmerica is where the entire NGV marketplace comes together to advocate with one voice for clean and affordable transportation fueled by natural gas,” said Clay.  “I’m excited to help navigate the various federal, state and technology issues that are important to NGVA members during the transition to a new President.”

NGVAmerica has formed a search committee to find a capable candidate to serve as its next President. A separate announcement will be made soon to direct interested parties to the process.


City of Long Beach Unveils First Municipal Near-Zero Emissions Refuse Truck

May 11, 2017

The City of Long Beach, California recently unveiled a new municipal refuse truck that it says is the first in the country to employ the Cummins Westport ISL G Near-Zero NOx engine. The City’s new municipal refuse truck is the first of 23 identical near-zero emissions refuse trucks that will be coming to Long Beach and will go into service in the next six months. Thirteen of the 23 trucks will be partially funded by a grant from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC).

“Long Beach is working hard to improve the environment for our residents in every possible way,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I’m proud that we are again setting the pace with our fleet, this time with new technology that drastically cuts heavy truck emissions.”

The City says it will also soon begin using renewable natural gas to maximize the emissions reduction of the new engine. This is just the most recent move for Long Beach, which runs an aggressive green fleet program and has been working towards cleaner transport since the 1970s. It began with the purchase of 50 CNG Ford Rancheros for use at the Long Beach Gas Department. In the 1980’s, CNG Police patrol cars were added to the fleet. In the 1990s, Fleet integrated CNG refuse trucks; and in 2003, Long Beach became the first city in the U.S. to use LNG for its street sweepers.


The 2017 West Coast-to-East Coast NGV Road Rally Announced

May 15, 2017

NGVAmerica, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) and the American Gas Association (AGA) are pleased to announce their 2nd Annual ‘From Sea-to-Shining-Sea’ NGV Road Rally Across America. The event highlights the many benefits of using natural gas in transportation and the variety of vehicles available today that operate on natural gas over a two-week period, commencing this June.

“No other alternative fuel offers as many vehicles to meet the needs of consumers and fleets than natural gas,” NGVAmerica President Matthew Godlewski said.  “This year’s event will showcase a variety of vehicles operating on clean-burning CNG, LNG and RNG over multiple stops throughout the country.”

This year’s 18-stop, 4,825-mile journey starts outside of Long Beach, CA on Monday, June 5th and concludes in Washington, DC on Friday, June 16th.  Event media stops in-between include:

  • Tolleson, AZ
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Conway, AR
  • Dickson, TN
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Salisbury, NC
  • Newport News, VA

Other rally events that tie into the main route will be held in:

  • Houston, TX
  • Leesville, LA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Spartanburg, SC

Additionally, a separate spur will also make its way to Washington, DC via:

  • Fair Oaks, IN
  • Wixom, MI
  • Columbus, OH
  • York, PA

“The west coast-to-east coast road rally not only dispels the myth of NGV ‘range anxiety’ but will also draw media attention to the historic VW settlement program,” said event coordinator Tom Sheehan.  “Every stop will serve to educate states on how NGVs are the most cost-effective use of funds for clean transportation projects as part of the $2.9 billion VW settlement.”

Each Drive NatGas road rally stop includes good food, a variety of NGVs, award ceremonies and educational opportunities that highlight NGVs’ exemplary value proposition. All are welcome and attendees will include state and local government officials and policymakers, the media, NGV customers and advocates, industry stakeholders, DOE Clean Cities coordinators as well as the public.

The following organizations are sponsors of this year’s event:

Agility Fuel Solutions, ampCNG, ANGI Energy Systems, Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp, Atlanta Gas Light, Blue Bird Corporation, Blue Energy Fuels, Carolinas Public Gas Association, CenterPoint Energy, City of Richmond – Dept of Public Utilities, Clean Energy Fuels Corp, Clean Fuels Michigan, CNG Cylinders International, Cummins Westport Inc, DeKalb County Government, DTE Energy, EVO CNG, Gibson County Utility District, Greater Dickson Gas Authority, Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition, Knoxville Utilities Board, Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia, National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA), Norwich Clean Cities, Okaloosa Gas District, Oklahoma One-Call, One Gas, Ozinga Energy, Palmetto State Clean Fuels Coalition, Piedmont Natural Gas, Precision Fitting and Gauge/Precision CNG, S3 Services, LLC, Sevier County Utility District, Sheehy Mail Contractors, Inc, South Jersey Gas Company, Southern California Gas Company –  a Sempra Company, Southwest Gas Corporation, TECO Energy, Tennessee Gas Association, Trillium CNG, TruStar Energy, Tulsa Gas Technologies, Inc, U.S. Venture/GAIN Clean Fuel, Virginia Natural Gas – a Southern Company, WEH Technologies Inc, and Worthington Cylinders.

For more information, contact Tom Sheehan at tsheehan@altfuelsolutions.com.


SDG&E Completes Improvements to CNG Fueling Station in San Diego

May 11, 2017

SDG&E, the public utility serving San Diego, California, has completed upgrades to its Miramar CNG fueling station. The CNG station boasts more powerful compressors to improve fill speed and reliability, and expanded tanks for higher fuel capacity, along with a new canopy and energy efficient lighting.

The station, which is open to the public, has been operated by SDG&E for 20 years. The refurbishment was initiated after gathering feedback from customers. The suggestions were used to plan a major overhaul of all CNG fueling stations operated by both SDG&E and SoCalGas across Southern California.

In addition to energy efficiency and reliability upgrades, the station off Miramar Road is now more visible to approaching motorists with bolder pricing signage near the street. SDG&E fuels its CNG vehicles at this location as well as fleets of public buses, refuse trucks, taxis and other transportation vehicles from across the county.

SDG&E says its other two CNG fueling stations in Kearny Mesa and Carlsbad will also undergo upgrades in the near future. In addition, SDG&E will be expanding the number of new public-access CNG stations across its service territory to keep pace with growing customer demand.


Upcoming Renewable Natural Gas Symposium Hosted by UC Riverside’s CE-CERT

May 14, 2017

The College of Engineering—Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) at the University of California Riverside will be hosting its Renewable Natural Gas Symposium on May 17, 2017 at the Bourns Technology Center in Riverside, California. The in-depth symposium is designed for an engaging discussion on the key benefits and challenges of moving the production of RNG from pilot-scale demonstration projects to widespread commercial production and utilization.

In keeping with the mission of newly opened Center for Renewable Natural Gas (CRNG), the symposium will examine opportunities to improve technology—production efficiencies—and mitigate common barriers—regulatory issues, feedstock logistics/pretreatment challenges, and high capital costs). Discussions will include:

  • RNG Policy in California – Past & Future
  • Renewable Hydrogen – Nexus of Fuels and Power
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Decarbonization
  • RNG’s Role in Mitigating Short Lived Climate Pollutants
  • Utility-Scale Power-to-Gas
  • Thermochemical RNG Production

A ribbon cutting ceremony and CRNG tour will be held. For more information, visit the event website.


Hexagon to Provide Mobile Pipeline Modules to Leading Oil & Gas Player

May 8, 2017

Hexagon Lincoln has entered into a long-term agreement with Certarus, a leading provider of fully integrated CNG delivery solutions, for the sale of mobile pipeline modules to the oil and gas exploration and production industry. As part of the agreement that runs through 2020, Hexagon Lincoln has received an initial order for TITAN 4 modules from Certarus with a total value of $20.6 million.

With this order, Certarus is expanding its already large TITAN fleet. The recovering oil and gas market is exploring all options to reduce costs of operations. The use of CNG in the oil field continues due to its lower distributed cost compared to diesel. Hexagon Lincoln says the lower CNG prices relative to diesel, paired with higher transport efficiency, improve the competitiveness of mobile pipeline operators.

“We see an increasing adoption of natural gas to displace diesel, propane and burner oil to promote cost savings and reduce the environmental footprint,” says Curtis Philippon, President & CEO of Certarus Ltd. “Hexagon designs some of the highest pressure, highest volume transport trailer systems available and proves to be ideal for our applications.”

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2017 and continue through the first quarter of 2018.


Clean Energy Names Frank Meyer as President of Clean Energy Compression

May 11, 2017

Clean Energy Fuels has appointed Frank Meyer as president of its subsidiary Clean Energy Compression.

“After conducting a very comprehensive search I am very confident that Frank is the right person to lead our compression business,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO of Clean Energy. “I look forward to working with him as we continue to drive innovation and growth in the natural gas compression industry.”

Mr. Meyer brings 24 years of leadership experience and comes to Clean Energy after serving in a variety of C-Suite level roles such as general manager with Finning International, the largest Caterpillar dealer in the world, and in positions as executive vice president of the Colco and Jastram Group of Companies. In addition to his experience in the manufacturing industry, Mr. Meyer has served in numerous business leadership roles including CEO of Meridian Fuel Technologies, Director of Business Development at Phase Technology and a position with Citigroup Private Bank.

Mr. Meyer currently serves on the Board of Directors of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, is a voting member of ASTM International and is pursuing an M.B.A. in Energy and Sustainability from the University of Cumbria.


U.S. Venture Promotes Mike Koel to Lead GAIN Clean Fuel Division

May 10, 2017

U.S. Venture has promoted Mike Koel to president of U.S. Gain, the CNG division of U.S. Venture. In his new role, Koel will lead the GAIN Clean Fuel CNG brand and work to continue expanding GAIN’s fueling network throughout North America. He will continue to build the GAIN Clean Fuel brand and generate awareness of CNG as a cleaner, more stable and more effective way of operating business. He will also focus on expanding natural gas distribution channels for U.S. Gain.

“Mike has a passion for CNG and he led the thought process behind U.S. Venture entering into the CNG business,” said U.S. Venture President and CEO John Schmidt. “He spearheaded the start of GAIN Clean Fuel and his vision has led to new opportunities for the company.”

Prior to the promotion, Koel was the vice president of business development for U.S. Oil, a division of U.S. Venture. Koel joined U.S. Venture in 2001 as a trader, focused primarily on refined products and ethanol supply. He has extensive experience in the oil industry, including nine years as a natural gas trader/supply manager for Kaztex Energy Management, WPS Energy Services and Howard Energy.

Koel is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics.


Karsan Looks to Introduce CNG Bus to American Market

May 12, 2017

Karsan announced it will introduce its first Buy America-compliant vehicle at the UITP World Global Transport Summit being held May 15 to 17 in Montréal. Having successfully completed Altoona testing, the 40-foot CNG-powered vehicle is currently completing FMVSS/CMVSS certification and will be ready for sale before the end of 2017.

“The Karsan team is very excited to offer its first Buy America vehicle,” said Levent Erdogan, business development and projects director for Karsan. “The timing of the conference is ideal in that we are currently in discussions with a U.S.-based manufacturer and further our decades-long experience in urban transit on an even-more global scale.”

The 51 year old, Turkey-based manufacturer is a global leader, having produced more than 277,000 total vehicles. Their range of transportation solutions is featured in almost 20 countries.


Caterpillar Unveils First of Its Kind LNG Test Bed for Marine Applications

May 14, 2017

Caterpillar Marine has unveiled the first LNG test bed for gas-fueled engines at its facility in Kiel. The LNG preparation unit comprises of an LNG tank and a gas preparation unit that are both in 40 foot container size, and both developed and provided by Marine Service, Hamburg.

Caterpillar is already a leader in LNG power with its MaK branded dual fuel engines, but Caterpillar says there’s still a lot to learn about LNG and the engineering required to maximize its potential. With its Kiel location, Caterpillar will improve its understanding of the technology and enhance the service it provides to clients adopting LNG.

“LNG offers obvious benefits to marine power and it’s considered a true future fuel,” said Georg Gillert, engineering supervisor for Caterpillar Marine. “It burns cleaner than other fuels, emitting low amounts of nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), particulate matter and carbon dioxide. When handled properly, LNG offers a clear path to regulation compliance with all current and future standards,” stated Gillert.

Caterpillar’s Kiel test bed will focus on ensuring its products, including its MaK engines, are the immediate beneficiaries of LNG advancements; familiarizing Caterpillar sales personnel and dealers with valuable information regarding the technology; and facilitating customer training to not only become familiar with LNG, but to also teach customers important safety information regarding LNG handling and operational procedures.