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NGVAmerica Week in Review: November 13, 2017

  • Valley Metro and City of Phoenix Sign Contract for 396 CNG-Powered New Flyer Buses
  • NGVAmerica Update on Available Funding and Business Opportunities
  • California Awards $35.3 Million for Biomethane Dairy Digestor Projects
  • Scania’s Latest Natural Gas Engine Designed for Long-Distance Transport
  • Volvo Trucks Wins Sustainable Truck of the Year 2018
  • Caterpillar to Offer Dual Fuel Retrofit Kit for 785C Mining Truck
  • Carnival Cruise Line Taps Shell to Fuel North America’s First LNG-Powered Cruise Ships
  • Maritime Transport Company to Fuel Large Containerships with LNG


Valley Metro and City of Phoenix Sign Contract for 396 CNG-Powered New Flyer Buses

November 6, 2017

The Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority and the City of Phoenix Public Transit Department, together through a joint procurement, have awarded New Flyer with a firm contract for 199 Xcelsior CNG-powered, forty-foot heavy duty transit buses.

The contract, which was supported by Federal Transit Administration funding and includes options for 197 buses over five years, is the second joint procurement for RPTA and the City of Phoenix. The buses will be deployed on Valley Metro’s regional transit system as well as City of Phoenix routes starting 2018, and support Valley Metro’s 2016-2020 strategic plan to grow transit ridership and advance the value of transit.

“For over ten years, New Flyer has provided public transportation in Arizona that helped support regional and city growth,” stated Wayne Joseph, President of New Flyer of America. “We are proud to now provide CNG buses that will help lower emissions, as well as strengthen transit ridership in communities with safe and reliable bus service.”


NGVAmerica Update on Available Funding and Business Opportunities

November 13, 2017

NGVAmerica tracks available funding and business opportunities that are significant to the NGV industry. Below is information on five current and future opportunities.

Iowa DOT DERA Funding Notice

The Iowa Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s DERA grant program for diesel fleets in Clinton, Dubuque, Marshall, Polk, Pottawattamie, Story, and Woodbury counties in Iowa. The notice advises school districts, transit systems or company fleet managers in any of the targeted counties to visit the DERA grant website to read the program information guide and find out more about the grant process. The current total grant amount available in Iowa is $233,504, but the state is considering using funds from the Volkswagen emissions settlement to qualify for additional DERA funds. If the use of Volkswagen funds is approved, the total available DERA funding would be $583,760. The DERA grant program was formerly administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources but has been transferred to the Iowa DOT as of October 2017. The application deadline is December 20, 2017. More information on this funding opportunity is available here.

North Central Texas Council of Governments Request for Proposals for Alt Fuel Vehicles

NCTCOG is coordinating a bulk purchase procurement on behalf of several local governments for four alternative fuel vehicle platforms, including vehicles powered by CNG. Responses from authorized vehicle dealers in Texas are being sought through a Request for Proposals (RFP). Respondents should work with alternative fuel industry upfitters or other vendors as needed to be able to deliver vehicles in the desired alternative fuel configuration to participating fleets. Proposals must be received by December 22, 2017. The full RFP, including selection criteria, vehicle platforms, and other desired elements, will be available here on November 3, 2017.

This procurement is being administered as part of NCTCOG’s work in the Fleets for the Future project. Fleets for the Future is a national partnership organizing regional and national cooperative procurement initiatives of alternative fuel vehicles, in partnership with the National Association of Regional Councils. See AFV RFP website here.

NJ NGV Grant Program

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has established a CNG heavy vehicle grant program available for trucks that are listed as heavy duty vehicles Class 5 through 8.  The $200,000 grant program will fund the incremental cost of a CNG powered vehicle over the equivalent diesel vehicle.  Awards will be capped at $20,000 per vehicle and $40,000 per applicant and will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis until funding is exhausted. Eligibility is limited to Class 5 through 8 trucks registered in the seven counties that the Air Quality Index was previously classified as unhealthy for sensitive groups for ten or more days in 2015 and 2016. These are the counties of Camden, Mercer, Middlesex, Bergen, Gloucester, Hudson, and Ocean counties. Eligible applicants for the grant program include municipalities, political subdivisions, incorporated nonprofit entities, corporations and limited liability companies or partnerships registered to do business in New Jersey.

The application window opens no sooner than November 20, 2017, and the window closes on December 20, 2017. Applications should be submitted to bpu.cngvehiclegrant@bpu.nj.gov, and application and documentation can be found here.

TCEQ Requests Information from AFV Suppliers

A notice released last month requests information to natural gas engines and vehicles that are eligible for funding under the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program. This program is part of broader effort by the state to reduce NOx emissions. The TNGVGP provides grants to replace existing medium and heavy duty vehicles with new vehicles powered by CNG or LNG. Repowers and conversions also qualify. The purpose of the notice is to assist the state in compiling a list of approved NGVs and engines eligible for the grant funding. This request applies to new heavy duty on-road CNG and LNG engines, as well as new vehicles classified by the US EPA as medium duty passenger vehicles, 8,501 to 10,000 pounds GVWR. Chassis-certified heavy duty vehicles and certain CNG and LNG conversion systems may also be eligible to be included on the list. For purposes of this request, a respondent must be the manufacturer of the vehicle, engine, or conversion system certifying compliance with current federal NOx standards.

For additional information regarding this information request, please contact Ron Hieser, Implementation Grants Section, at 512.239.0244 or toll free at 800.919.8377, or visit the TNGVGP website here.

Tennessee Notice of Intent for NGV Funding

The Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC’s) Office of Energy Programs (TDEC OEP) Notice of Intent indicates that it will issue a second round of funding under the Tennessee Natural Gas and Propane Vehicle Grant Program. The program assists public, non-profit, and private Tennessee-based fleets with the investment in and purchase of natural gas or propane-powered vehicles. The sound round of the program, managed by TDEC OEP, is limited to one application per grantee, per location. A total of $1.7 million will be available to pay up to 70 percent of the incremental purchase cost of eligible vehicles, with a maximum grant of $25,000 for each eligible vehicle. The maximum amount that may be awarded to a grantee shall not exceed $250,000. CNG and LNG dedicated vehicles qualify, as well as vehicles of all sizes and weight classes. OEM and conversions also qualify.  More details are available here.

California Awards $35.3 Million for Biomethane Dairy Digestor Projects

November 7, 2017

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has awarded $35.2 million in grant funding to 18 dairy digester projects across the state. These projects, part of the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manure on California dairy farms. Dairy digesters help capture potent methane emissions, which can be used to produce natural gas that can be used as a vehicle fuel.

“California continues to the lead the nation in supporting smart climate programs that address on-farm challenges and promote agricultural sustainability,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “I applaud our dairy farmers for proactively addressing climate pollutants and reducing overall greenhouse emissions to help meet the state’s climate goals.”

Financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters comes from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that uses Cap-and-Trade program funds to support the state’s climate goals. CDFA and other state agencies are investing these proceeds in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide additional benefits to California communities. Dairy digester grant recipients will provide an estimated $71.2 million in matching funds for the development of their projects.

Information about the 2017 Dairy Digester Research and Development Program projects is available here.


Scania’s Latest Natural Gas Engine Designed for Long-Distance Transport

November 8, 2017

Scania has introduced the new OC13 natural gas engine designed for long-distance transport and use on construction sites. The OC13 is based on Scania’s well-proven 13-liter engine that employs stoichiometric combustion, combustion initiated with spark plugs. The pre-mixing of the fuel takes place upon entry into the cylinders.

“Throughout development, our aim has been to ensure the best possible drivability,” explains Folke Fritzson, Senior Engineer at Scania R&D and part of the team developing Scania’s gas engines. “The performance and characteristics should correspond to that of a modern diesel engine.”

The new 13-litre gas engine is always available with Scania Opticruise, Scania’s automated gearboxes, and both CNG and LNG tanks can be ordered directly from Scania.

Gas engines that employ stoichiometric combustion have shorter service intervals than diesel engines. However, Scania has achieved a significantly longer service interval, with the lifespan of the spark plugs currently setting the limit.

“We have defined the interval at 45,000 kilometres for both the spark-plug and oil changes with normal use,” says Fritzson. “This is a clear improvement over previous generation gas engines, with 30,000 kilometres as normal intervals. This reduces maintenance costs and increases availability.”

Volvo Trucks Wins Sustainable Truck of the Year 2018

November 10, 2017

Volvo Trucks’ new natural gas and renewable natural gas (RNG) trucks have received Italy’s Sustainable Truck of the Year 2018 award. It was handed over at a ceremony in connection with the Ecomondo exhibition in Rimini. Volvo Trucks won first prize in the tractor category with the new Volvo FH LNG, which was introduced in Europe this autumn.

The main emphasis is on the trucks’ high energy efficiency and low climate impact. The Volvo FH LNG has the same high performance and low fuel consumption as a diesel-powered Volvo truck, but far lower CO2 emissions. If natural gas is used as a fuel, emissions are cut by 20 percent. Running on RNG combined with HVO, however, emissions may drop by up to 100 percent. The jury also took into consideration a range of other parameters in their decision, such as safety, comfort and recyclability.

“Our new generation of gas-powered trucks marks a milestone in our sustainability work and in our long-term aim to achieve zero emissions,” says Lars Mårtensson, Director Environment and Innovation at Volvo Trucks. “By putting the spotlight on sustainability issues and by rewarding significant progress, the Sustainable Truck of the Year award helps drive the development of the transport sector in a sustainable direction.”

Behind the Sustainable Truck of the Year award is Vado e Torno, one of the foremost truck magazines in Italy, in cooperation with Italian university Politechnico di Milano.


Carnival Cruise Line Taps Shell to Fuel North America’s First LNG-Powered Cruise Ships

November 8, 2017

Carnival Cruise Line has signed an agreement with Shell NA LNG to be its supplier of marine LNG to power North America’s first fully LNG-powered cruise ships. Under the agreement, Shell will supply Carnival Cruise Line with fuel for its two new LNG-powered ships expected to launch in 2020 and 2022 and to be homeported in North America.

The two ships, built with a next-generation “green cruising” ship design, will be fueled through Shell’s LNG Bunker Barge (LBB)—a project announced earlier this week as part of Shell’s strategic plan to develop a global LNG bunkering network. The ocean-going LBB, which is designed to support growing cruise line demand for LNG as a marine fuel, will be the first of its kind in the U.S. and will allow these ships to refuel with LNG at ports along the southern U.S. East Coast.

The two new Carnival Cruise Line vessels will be fully powered by LNG both while in port and at sea—an industry first and an environmental breakthrough that will improve air quality with cleaner emissions and produce the most efficient ships in company history. The 180,000-ton ships will be the largest ships in Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet with an approximate passenger capacity of 5,200 based on double occupancy.

“Carnival Cruise Line is strongly committed to leading the way in the implementation of technology innovations to help protect the environment and support our aggressive sustainability goals,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Our two new cruise ships entering service in 2020 and 2022 will not only be the largest and most technologically advanced in our fleet but will break extraordinary new ground as the first LNG-powered cruise ships in North America.”

This agreement builds on the partnership established between Carnival Corporation’s AIDA Cruises brand and Shell in April of 2016 to supply its AIDAprima ship with LNG to power the vessel while docked. AIDAprima is the first cruise ship in the world to use LNG while in port, leading to a major reduction in emissions. Additionally, AIDAsol became the first cruise ship in 2015 to be supplied with power by an LNG hybrid barge, which also saw major benefits while in port.

These two ships will be the world’s first fully LNG-powered cruise ships when they enter service in 2018 and 2019.


Caterpillar to Offer Dual Fuel Retrofit Kit for 785C Mining Truck

November 6, 2017

Caterpillar will offer its dynamic gas blending retrofit kit for the Cat 785C Mining Truck. Cat Dynamic Gas Blending (DGB) technology allows engines to run on both diesel and LNG, while lowering fuel costs and maintaining power and performance.

“We’ve recently completed validation of the retrofit kit on the 785C Mining Truck with excellent results,” said Steve Igoe, commercial manager for Caterpillar’s Gas Engine Business. “The kit will allow customers to reduce fuel costs significantly by using LNG. Natural gas and LNG offer both economic and environmental benefits to the mining industry.”

The 785C Retrofit Kit is the first DGB system Caterpillar has offered for mining machines, and it will be available for purchase in January 2018 from the global Cat dealer network. Caterpillar will offer additional DGB systems in the future.

Caterpillar experts shared the innovative technology at the High Horsepower Summit November 6 – 9 in Jacksonville, Florida.


Maritime Transport Company to Fuel Large Containerships with LNG

November 7, 2017

The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in maritime transport, announced its decision to equip nine future containerships of 22,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) with engines powered by clean-burning natural gas. The ships are to be delivered in 2020.

The CMA CGM Group is firmly committed to the reduction of its carbon footprint for the protection of the environment and the preservation of the oceans and biodiversity.

Between 2005 and 2015, the Group has reduced its CO2 emissions by 50 percent and has set up an ambitious plan to further reduce its CO2 emissions by 30 percent between 2015 and 2025. By choosing LNG, the CMA CGM Group goes beyond current and future regulations that limit the Sulphur cap to 0.5 percent in 2020. The Group is also fully in line with the Paris Agreement and the ongoing discussions at the international level.

“By choosing LNG, CMA CGM confirms its ambition to be a leading force in the industry in environmental protection by being a pioneer in innovative and eco-responsible technologies,” said Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Group CEO.