Fleet & Fuels says there could be 1000 LNG ships by 2015. A thousand ships could be fueled by LNG ( liquefied natural gas) by 2015 and perhaps 10,000 by 2020, says a new report from MECi. The trend to natural gas power for transportation is being driven by technology, new infrastructure, and economics. Rapidly falling natural gas prices is expected to make the life-cycle operating expenses for newbuild LNG ships 40% lower than those of fuel oil and marine gas oil. In addition an analysis of the existing LNG supply and terminal infrastructure shows ample availability of the fuel to be able to supply,” In light of these developments MECi says:
“Companies in all aspects of the maritime value chain – oil majors, terminals, ports, bunker suppliers, service companies, component producers, vessel owners and charterers – need to rethink their offerings.”
Terntank Rederi A/S, a Danish tanker operator, has ordered two new LNG powered 15,000 DWT tankers to be delivered in 2016 reports NGV Global News. The order also includes an option for two more vessels. The duel fuel engine can use LNG or marine gas oil. The tankers will be used in the Baltic Sea to meet the European Union’s new green house gas emission regulations.
Ford Motor Company has begun to produce CNG powered Ford F-150 trucks in the US we learn from Transport Topics. When equipped with the bifuel package and larger tanks, the truck can travel more than 750 miles on combined tanks of gasoline and CNG (compressed natural gas). Ford plans to offer next year eight commercial vehicles that can run on CNG or LPG. In addition to the F-150, they include the Transit and Transit Connect van, E-Series van, certain F-Series Super Duty models, the F-650 medium-duty truck and F53 and F59 stripped chassis models. Ford said it is on pace to sell 15,000 CNG/LPG powered vehicles in 2013, an increase of more than 25% over 2012 levels.
Propane autogas offers substantial fuel costs savings in the US according to autoblog. Currently propane autogas prices are substantially below those for gasoline or diesel, as well as compressed natural gas. Moreover, it provides substantial savings in maintenance costs and up to a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions over gasoline and diesel. For example, the city of Flint, Michigan says it is paying on 13 cents per mile to operate its vehicles on propane autogas versus 41 cents a mile using diesel fuel. The reason propane is so inexpensive in the US is because it is a by-product of natural gas production. However, the use of his fuel has been limited to fleets such as trucking or school buses because of a lack of widespread public refueling infrastructure.
So far autogas only makes sense for fleets, which can buy in bulk and whose trucks return to the same yard every night where they can be refueled. There are simply not enough public fueling stations (about 2,500 in the U.S.) to attract the general public to the fuel.
Next Gen Transportation News relates how an ambulance service operator in the US state of Connecticut is converting a portion of its fleet to propane autogas. The company, Campion Ambulance Service Inc., has its own autogas refueling infrastructure and is refueling for less than $2.00 per gallon or about 1/3 cheaper than petrol.
Retail grocery chain SUPERVALU Inc. has a fleet of 35 CNG trucks in operation in the eastern US says Next Gen Transportation News. The fleet of Volvo trucks operate out of SUPERVALU’s Mechanicsville, Virgina distribution center, which serves approximately 500 grocery stores in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., and North Carolina. The Mechanicsville distribution center, which has a total of 105 trucks in its fleet, plans to convert two-thirds of its total fleet to natural gas by 2015.
From Fleet & Fuels we find Quigley Motor in the US state of Pennsylvania is selling four-wheel drive GM vans that run on CNG – an industry first, the company says. The CNG option is available for both cargo and passenger applications, exclusively on 155-inch wheelbase vehicles.
Silver Eagle Distributors, a large beer distributor in the US state of Texas, has ordered 100 CNG powered GM crossovers according to Fleet & Fuels. Utah’s AGA Systems and Houston’s Nat G CNG Solutions make the bi-fuel CNG/gasoline system for GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox crossover vehicles. The bi-fuel CNG system can be installed on new and in-service 2013 and 2014 model Terrain and Chevy Equinox vehicles. The modified crossovers have a combined CNG and gasoline highway range of 775 miles for the passenger version and 837 miles for a cargo version (due to a second CNG fuel cylinder).
NGV Global News reports Republic Services, Inc. has added an additional 49 CNG solid waste and recycling trucks to serve customers throughout the metropolitan area of Houston, Texas in the US. The firm has introduced 104 new CNG trucks in Houston within the past year, replacing older diesel powered trucks. Republic operates a fleet of more than 1,400 CNG vehicles and 26 natural gas fueling stations nationwide, including two new CNG stations installed to support the Texas fleet.
UK retail grocery chain Asda has ordered 50 duel-fueled (LNG/diesel) Volvo trucks for its new Avonmouth, England distribution center. The distribution center will also have a CNG refueling station.
Natural gas trucks perform well in some of Canada’s harshest cold weather conditions says a report released by Transport Canada (Evaluation of the Winter Performance of Compressed Natural Gas Refuse Trucks). You can read the report here. NGV Global News says the study documents the cold weather operation of a fleet of 18 CNG refuse trucks owned by Berthierville, Quebec-based company EBI as well as a fleet of 58 CNG refuse trucks operating in Winnipeg, Manitoba by Emterra Environmental. These heavy duty trucks have been operating over two years at winter temperatures as low as –16 degrees Celsius.
The main report finding is that factory-built CNG trucks operate well with no issues in cold weather provided normal winter aids are used and the vehicle design is suitable for cold weather.