With fuel savings between $1.50 and $2.00 per diesel gallon equivalent (dge), LNG-fueled trucks are being used by fleets for their most demanding routes: heavy haul, double-shift operations where truckers can consume 200 gallons per day, the World LNG Fuels conference concluded in January.
By using domestic LNG, operators can save as much as $75,000 annually in fuel costs, enough to pay for the cost of LNG equipment in 18 months.
Hindering this, however, is the higher weight of the LNG-fueled trucks, which weigh between 1,800 and 2,000 pounds (820 and 910 kg) more than their diesel counterparts. By law, most tractor-trailer combinations are limited to 80,000 pounds. Once the weight of the truck and trailer are deducted, payload capacity can be as little as 35,000 pounds. Thus, an increase in truck weight of 1,800 to 2,000 pounds can wipe away profits.
Truckers like Hoopes Transport President Preston Hoopes would like the U.S. DOT to consider waivers for the extra weight, given the benefits of the cleaner, domestic fuel.
“We need the government to allow extra weight. If the government wants us to use domestic LNG and CNG, they’ve got to give us weight help on our trucks,” Hoopes told World LNG Fuels 2013, held in Houston.
“We’re trying to get another trucking company in Pennsylvania to use LNG. They said ‘we can’t afford the extra weight, 2,000 extra pounds, which over a year’s time costs $20,000 in lost revenue,’” he said.
Hoopes operates some 50 trucks, 16 of which are LNG fueled, for a variety of cargos. In recent months, management has assigned their LNG units to their most fuel-intensive routes. They would like to move into the LNG-fuel supply business if the issue of weight can be resolved.
Plans call for development to begin in 2013. Each plant will produce between 7,500 to 40,000 Diesel Gallons Equivalent (DGE) per day of capacity, subject to current and future contractual commitments. According to Joseph Farley, Director of Business Development, “We see a need for LNG and CNG as another important supply fuel to the Oil & Gas industry and service providers. Producers and Suppliers of Oil & Gas are looking for ways to cut their fuel cost and by switching to Natural Gas for their rigs, frac units and fleets they can save millions of dollars each year.
“AmericaCNG.Com,Inc along with their Strategic Alliance Partners(SAP) can convert the trucks, the frac units and the drilling rigs to run off CNG. Thigpen Energy, one of our SAP, is a field service company that specializes in the installation and operation of natural gas fueling infrastructure, be it CNG, LNG or field gas.
“Gas safety equipment, crew safety training and fuel reconciliation are all part of the Thigpen Energy solution. By utilizing our LNG processing, storage and transportation capabilities we will be able to wholesale the fuel, plus transport the fuel to each well site, regasify it back to CNG, and sell it to drillers, suppliers, service companies and converted vehicles…”
“We have the capability to turn around a project in about 180 days for the smaller units out in the field.”
Another SAP is Alternative Gas Processing Inc.. They supply wellhead gas processing equipment for methane and NGL’s, portable LNG fuel skids, and LNG and CNG transportation modules. Methane and NGL recovery at the well head can be accomplished with no out of pocket expense to the producer in specific targeted areas.
Initially, compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling capability will be available at two Stripes locations in the Midland, Texas area.
Steve DeSutter, Stripes President and CEO – Retail, said, “Adding natural gas to our conventional motor fuel products reinforces our mission to give Stripes customers what they want at a great price in our convenient store locations.
“We certainly see the role of natural gas in our energy future, and we are looking forward to participating as it evolves as a viable alternative transportation fuel. We plan to evaluate the results of our pilot project in West Texas, and if it is successful, we expect to gradually roll out CNG fueling capabilities in other Stripes markets,” DeSutter said.
Steve Farris, Apache’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Natural gas discovered and produced in the United States is a smart alternative to conventional fuels. It’s cheaper, cleaner, and abundant.
“We use it for our fleet cars and trucks with great results, lowering operating costs and reducing our environmental footprint. Partnering with Stripes provides our fleet and other CNG users with a more convenient fueling experience as well as access to their stores and other amenities.”
Today compressed natural gas is priced 30% to 40% lower than gasoline or diesel on a gallonequivalent basis, which means a big savings at the pump. According to industry experts, natural gas is kinder to the environment by reducing vehicle exhaust emissions, and because of our nation’s abundant natural gas reserves, it represents a more secure American energy supply. According to the Department of Energy Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Pricing Report and the Institute of Energy Research, known domestic resources could satisfy the nation’s needs for more than 100 years.
Cummins Westport announced it has begun development on the ISB6.7 G, a mid-range 6.7 liter natural gas engine designed to meet the increasing demand for on-highway vehicles powered by lower cost, cleaner and increasingly abundant natural gas. As a leading supplier of natural gas engines, Cummins Westport Inc. continues to expand its product range to supply the growing demand for natural gas engines.
The ISB6.7 G engine will be based on the Cummins ISB6.7 diesel engine and will use Cummins Westport’s proven spark-ignited, stoichiometric cooled exhaust gas recirculation (SEGR) technology. Exhaust aftertreatment will be provided by a simple, maintenance-free three-way catalyst.
The engine will run on compressed natural gas (CNG), however, the natural gas may be stored on the vehicle in liquefied natural gas (LNG) state or as CNG. The ISB6.7 G is expected to be in production by 2015 and will be designed to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations in force at the time of launch.
“The addition of the ISB6.7 G will round out our family of high performance natural gas engines,” said Jim Arthurs, President of Cummins Westport. “It joins the 8.9-liter ISL G, with over 16,000 engines in service, and the 11.9-litre ISX12 G, which will start production in 2013, to give our customers a broad range of natural gas engines for on-highway applications.”
The 12 shuttle buses, dubbed the GOP EZ Shuttles, will transport convention participants on specific routes to several hotels, as well as attractions in the Tampa Bay area, including Ybor City and Busch Gardens. ANGA is working with local utility TECO Peoples Gas and Ultimate CNG to provide CNG fuel for the buses.
CNG fuel provides significant cost savings over diesel-fueled buses. When compared to diesel, compressed natural gas costs about $1.69 less per gallon equivalent. CNG also offers fleets an American fuel choice that is cleaner for the environment.
“We are proud to have this opportunity to provide transportation to convention participants in Tampa and to give them a first-hand experience with natural gas vehicles,” said ANGA President and Chief Executive Office Regina Hopper. “Companies and local leaders across the country are embracing natural gas as a fuel choice and calling for more vehicle options and filling stations to help drive this change. Our message in Tampa and beyond is that this is an extraordinary opportunity for our nation, and it’s time to get on board with this American fuel choice.”
Tampa and St. Petersburg are already taking advantage of natural gas as a clean, affordable, American transportation fuel, using it for airport transit vehicles and as part of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit system starting next year. The decision to employ natural gas vehicles will add up to substantial cost savings and environmental benefits over the life of the vehicles.
“As mayor, I have seen firsthand the benefits that natural gas vehicles can bring in terms of lower fuel costs and clean air. I am pleased to welcome natural gas buses to the convention. These buses will not only provide a cleaner, cheaper method of transport but will also connect the thousands of guests here for various convention events to our local attractions,” said City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
“We’re delighted that these 12 natural gas vehicles – what we call ‘the Clean Dozen’ – will be part of our convention,” said William Harris, CEO of the 2012 Republican National Convention Committee on Arrangements. “Energy independence is critical to Mitt Romney’s vision of a better future for all Americans, which is what this convention is all about.”
Thanks to recent discoveries of vast supplies of shale gas throughout our nation, the United States is now the world’s leading producer of this versatile energy resource that can be used for transportation, power generation and industrial purposes. Greater use of natural gas vehicles can save money, create American jobs and enhance U.S. energy security. Leading companies such as Ryder, Verizon and AT&T have invested in natural gas vehicles for their fleets.
Natural gas production is responsible for nearly 3 million jobs and adds $385 billion annually to our economy. Abundant domestic supplies also translate into affordable energy, increasing the disposable income for the average American household by an estimated $926 this year.
Florida is the second largest user of natural gas in the country, with 62 percent of the state’s electricity generation coming from natural gas. According to a recent IHS study, natural gas supported more than 15,000 jobs in Florida in 2010. That number is expected to rise to more than 30,000 by 2035. In addition, IHS found that natural gas will contribute more than $23 billion in government revenue to Florida by 2035
ANGA also will be providing buses for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.
- Milwaukee unveils first compressed natural gas refueling station (fox6now.com)
- 13 States Ask Automakers to Rev Up Natural Gas Vehicles (sustainablebusiness.com)
- Apache’s airport deal may help natural gas take off (fuelfix.com)
- Natural gas slowly makes its way to your filling station. (eenews.net)
- WJAC-TV: More Drivers Converting to Compressed Natural Gas (gantdaily.com)