Natural Gas as a Marine Fuel

Natural gas is being tested in Canada as a marine fuel. The NM F.-A.-Gauthier has officially been commissioned and is the first ferry in North America to be fueled with liquified natural gas (LNG). It is also the first ship of any kind running on LNG in Canada. Gaz Métro, a company that sells LNG, applauded the trial and the noted in a press statement that by choosing natural gas as the fuel for its new admiral-ship, the Société des traversiers du Québec is reaching an important milestone in the Québec maritime transport sector and paving the way for local shipowners to use a proven, high-performance and cleaner technology.

NM F.-A.-Gauthier, the first ferry to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) in North America. Photo Credit: Gaz Metro.

NM F.-A.-Gauthier, the first ferry to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) in North America. Photo Credit: Gaz Metro.

Gaz Métro also states the use of LNG makes it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 percent, compared with marine diesel, in addition to almost completely eliminating fine particle emissions and other air pollutants. LNG motors are also quieter and produce less vibration, which is more respectful of marine life.

LNG motors are a proven technology widely used for many years in road and maritime transport worldwide, particularly in Europe. “It’s extraordinary that this major first is happening here in Québec, and Gaz Métro is very proud to be a part of it,” highlighted Martin Imbleau, vice president, Development and Renewable Energies at Gaz Métro. “In support of Québec’s Maritime Strategy, LNG is a concrete solution for fighting climate change and allows local shipowners to comply with the increasingly stringent standards regarding polluting emissions onNorth America’s waterways.”

Following an agreement concluded in 2013, Gaz Métro, through its subsidiary Gaz Métro LNG L.P., was chosen as the LNG supplier to fuel three new Société des traversiers du Québec ferries, including the NM F.-A.-Gauthier. Today this ship is replacing the NM Camille-Marcoux for the Matane–Baie-Comeau–Godbout ferry service. The two other ships will be assigned to the Tadoussac–Baie-Sainte-Catherine crossing.

UPS Ups Its LNG Game

UPS is once again increasing its commitment to liquified natural gas (LNG) with plans to invest nearly $50 million to build an additional nine LNG fueling stations bringing the total number of stations to 13. Four were announced in April of 2013 and these stations should be operational by the end of 2014.

The enhanced LNG fueling infrastructure will support the operation of approximately 1,000 UPS_LNG_tractor_high_resUPS LNG tractors that will displace more than 24 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. UPS has used LNG vehicles for more than a decade and says they have benefited from lower fuel prices compared to imported petroleum.

“The natural gas industry needs companies to commit to using natural gas to help establish a reliable alternative to traditional fuel, and that is just what UPS is doing,” said David Abney, UPS chief operating officer. “The UPS strategy is both environmentally friendly and economically viable. LNG is becoming more readily available, plus it’s more insulated from market volatilities than diesel fuel.”

The expansion will include on-site fueling stations in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Construction is already underway at previously-announced UPS facilities in Tennessee and Texas. Currently, UPS operates LNG tractors in Las Vegas, Nev., Phoenix, Ariz., Beaver and Salt Lake City, Utah and, Ontario, Calif. UPS began using LNG tractors in its delivery fleet in 2002.

“Building these fueling stations is a solid future investment for UPS,” said Abney. “Since vehicles represent approximately 35 percent of UPS’s carbon footprint, a cornerstone of the company’s environmental strategy is to support the development and use of lower-emission alternative fuels. By 2017, our goal is to reach one billion miles driven by our alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. To accomplish this goal the company must continue to innovate and help pave the way toward more sustainable transportation solutions.”

UPS operates one of the largest private alternative fuel fleets in the industry with more than 2,700 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. This includes all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, CNG, LNG, liquid propane gas (LPG), biomethane, and light-weight fuel-saving composite body vehicles.

Between 2000 and the end of 2012, the UPS alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet logged 295 million miles. In 2012, the growing fleet drove 49 million miles, a 43 percent increase compared to 2011.

CNG & LNG Conversion Co. Expands to Indiana

A1aA California company that converts light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to run on CNG, LNG, and LPG systems is expanding to the Midwest. A-1 Alternative Fuel Systems announced the opening of its new Elkhart, Indiana facility, meeting the needs of several area bus manufacturers.

“We are in a strong position to apply our depth of experience in California to markets all around the country,” said Mark Gilio, President of A-1 Alternative Fuel Systems. “Over the past eighteen years we have built a reputation in California that I am very proud of and my goal is to make sure that the rest of the country is able to experience, firsthand, exactly what enabled us to earn that reputation.” Having installed natural gas systems on over 400 vehicles at his Fresno headquarters in 2012, Gilio believes the new Elkhart facility has the potential to reach that capacity and more. The company will be cross-engineering its range of platforms (Ford E-450, F-550/650, F-59, GM G4500) with body builders of the major manufacturers in Elkhart and the surrounding areas.

The Fresno-based A-1 made the announcement at the recent BusCon in Chicago.

Refuel Colorado Fleets

Refuel Colorado Fleets, a pilot project to boost the use of alternative fuel vehicles in public and private sector fleets, has announced a new pilot program for several Colorado communities. The program is funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant to the Colorado Energy Office. Counties selected for the year-long pilot are Routt, Larimer, Boulder, Jefferson, Adams, Garfield, Mesa, Montezuma and La Plata. A is funding the project.

Energy coaches employed by four community-based nonprofits will help business and government fleet owners work together with auto dealers, fuel providers, business leaders and local governments in the nine counties to pursue or expand use of alternative fuels. The program is aimed at accelerating the deployment of alternative fuels, reducing Refuel Colorado Fleets logopetroleum imports and increasing fuel cost efficiency in public and private sector vehicle fleets. Alternative fuels being considered include compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), propane, biofuels and plug-in electric vehicles.

“The Refuel Colorado Fleets energy coaches will support the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles,” said Jeff Ackermann, director of the Colorado Energy Office. “Each community will determine what makes sense for them, be that electric, natural gas, propane, or other vehicle types. Each of these provides economic and environmental benefits, making this an exciting project.”

Energy coaching will be done by Northern Colorado Clean Cities, Denver Metro Clean Cities, Garfield Clean Energy and Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency. The pilot project is being led by CLEER: Clean Energy Economy for the Region, a Carbondale nonprofit with expertise in alternative fuel vehicle technology, energy coaching and community engagement.

“Colorado has built a strong reputation as a leader in renewable energy and other innovative industries,” said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. “Refuel Colorado Fleets’ work on these projects in counties across the state only enhances that reputation. “There is great promise in alternative fuel vehicles and these types of programs help proliferate their use and allow communities to see how best to implement proven green technologies.”

In the coming weeks, energy coaches will work with businesses and local governments in the nine counties to analyze their fleets, including miles driven and age, vehicle type and purpose, to determine the optimal alternative fuel to focus on.

Governor Corbett Commits $9.6M to Clean Energy

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced a commitment of more than $9.6 million for 13 clean and alternative energy projects in 11 counties. The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) has approved 13 projects, through the state’s Alternative and Clean Energy Program, including five Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fueling stations that, the agency says, have the benefits of reducing emissions, fuel savings and utilizing the large domestic CNG Station in PA Photo: Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvaniasource of natural gas available in Pennsylvania.

“The projects supported by the CFA will help businesses and school districts save collectively on their utility costs and reduce their environmental impact,” said Corbett. “They will also result in significant private economic investment throughout the commonwealth and the creation of 25 new jobs.”

Among the approved projects includes a $250,000 Alternative and Clean Energy Program grant for PMF Industries to aid in the company’s expansion of their manufacturing plant. The project will expand their precision metal forming facility to allow for the manufacturing of CNG cylinders.

“We have an available, abundant, domestic, economical and clean-burning supply of natural gas throughout Pennsylvania that can be used in a number of ways including to fuel our vehicles,” added Corbett. “Increasing the number of natural gas filling stations in the state will grow the industry, boost our economy and result in a better environment.”

In total, 13 projects were approved in Allegheny, Beaver, Bucks, Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin, Erie, Lackawanna, Lycoming, Montgomery and Schuylkill counties. The state investments are projected to result in more than $109 million in additional economic investments.

UPS Ramps Up Its Natural Gas Fleet

UPS is ramping up its natural gas fleet with the addition of approximately 700 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles. In addition, the company will build four refueling stations by the end of 2014. Once completed, UPS says its LNG private fleet will be one of the most extensive in the U.S. The company has been operating natural gas vehicles for more than a decade. With natural gas prices 30-40 percent lower than imported diesel and U.S. production gearing up, the logistics company is investing more aggressively in the natural gas infrastructure necessary to make it part of the UPS delivery network.

UPS LNG truckWorldwide UPS has more than 1,000 natural gas vehicles on the road today. UPS’s alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet of more than 2,600 vehicles also includes a wide array of low-emissions vehicles, including all-electrics, electric hybrids, hydraulic hybrids, propane, compressed natural gas and biomethane. Since 2000, the fleet powered by alternative fuels and technologies has driven more than 295 million miles.

“LNG will be a viable alternative transportation fuel for UPS in the next decade as a bridge between traditional fossil fuels and emerging renewable alternative fuels and technologies that are not quite ready for broad-based long-term commercial deployment,” said Scott Davis, UPS Chairman and CEO.

New UPS-built fueling stations in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., and Dallas, Texas, will serve its heavy-weight rigs traveling into adjacent states. With the addition of accessible LNG fueling stations, UPS also will add LNG trucks on routes from Dallas, Houston and San Antonio to further extend territory.

An initial investment of more than $18 million to build fueling stations will be supported by the purchase of these 700 LNG tractors and continued expansion of the natural gas fleet in the U.S.  UPS already operates 112 LNG tractor trailers from fueling stations in Las Vegas, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz., and Beaver and Salt Lake City, Utah, and has its own LNG fueling station on its property in Ontario, Calif.

“When other shipping and logistics companies are talking about possibilities, we are putting alternative fueled vehicles on the highway,” said Davis. “LNG is a good alternative to petroleum-based fuel for long-haul delivery fleets as it is abundant and produces reduced emissions at less cost. At UPS, we are helping to knock down some of the biggest hurdles to broad market acceptance of LNG in commercial transportation by continuing to establish vehicle demand, fuel and maintenance infrastructures.”

Honeywell UOP Selected for Floating LNG Project

UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, has been selected by Malaysia‘s Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) to provide technology for acid gas removal on the world’s first Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project, known as PETRONAS Floating LNG 1or PFLNG 1. The PFLNG 1 facility, which is designed to extract natural gas from offshore wells and liquefy and store it for later transport, will use Honeywell’s UOP Amine Guard FS process to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from UOP-LLC-to-Provide-Acid-Gas-Removal-Technology-for-PETRONAS-PFLNG-1the liquefied natural gas (LNG) feed streams.

“We are pleased to continue to grow UOP’s long-standing relationship with PETRONAS and for the opportunity to work with the company on its historic first floating LNG project,” said Rebecca Liebert, vice president and general manager for Honeywell’s UOP Gas Processing and Hydrogen business unit. “UOP offers a full suite of leading-edge, agile gas processing technologies, enabling us to design solutions for customers monetizing their gas resources. Together with PETRONAS, we are excited to bring continued improvements to meet the world’s growing demand for cleaner-burning and versatile natural gas energy in this new frontier of gas conditioning and treating.”

Scheduled for start-up by the end of 2015, the FLNG unit will be moored approximately 112 miles off the coast of Sarawak, Malaysia, and is designed to produce 1.2 million tons per year of LNG.

FLNG facilities such as PFLNG1 represent a step change because they allow these operations to be carried out far from land and closer to offshore gas sources. UOP says they will play a significant role in efforts to unlock gas reserves, particularly in remote and stranded fields previously deemed uneconomical to develop.

Shell & TravelCenters to Build LNG Nationwide Network

Shell and TravelCenters of America LLC have finalized an agreement to develop a U.S. nationwide network of liquefied natural gas (#LNG) fueling centers for heavy-duty road transport customers. The plan is to construct at least two LNG fueling lanes and a storage facility at up to 100 existing TA and Petro Stopping Centers SHELL OIL COMPANY TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA LNGbranded full service travel centers along the U.S. interstate highway system, in a phased approach.

The two companies anticipate the first of LNG stations to open by the end of this year, with a priority to develop main trucking corridors to provide the potential for the first-ever coast-to-coast LNG-fueled commercial transport network.

“Shell is investing now in the infrastructure that will bring this innovative, cost-competitive and environmentally beneficial fuel to our customers,” said Elen Phillips, Vice President, Shell Fuels Sales & Marketing Americas. “We are leveraging our strength as an integrated company to produce, liquefy, distribute and commercialize natural gas in transport – and TravelCenters of America is the ideal partner to help us bring this vision to life.”

Demand for innovative fuels, like LNG, from commercial customers is growing due to the wide range of benefits for trucking fleet operators says Shell. These benefits can include lower fuel costs, the potential to reduce emissions as well as reduce noise levels in certain engines.

“We see great potential for LNG as a fuel option among our range of quality fuels, due to the sheer abundance and affordability of domestic natural gas in North America,” added Phillips.

‘America’s Natural Gas Highway’ Expands

GE and Clean Energy Fuels have announced a partnership to expand the infrastructure for natural gas transportation in the U.S. The idea for the project is to develop a natural gas highway or network that will enable trucks to operate on Liquefied Natural (LNG) from coast to coast. In a press statement, the companies say truck fleets can reduce fuel costs by more than 25 percent and lower tailpipe emissions when using LNG.

Clean Energy Fuels will initially purchase two ecomagination qualified MicroLNG plants from GE Oil & Gas. The modular units rapidly liquefy natural gas while minimizing a site’s physical footprint and will support fueling stations along major transportation corridors across the U.S. To help support the costs of the infrastructure, GE Energy Financial Services is providing up to $200 million in financing.

“GE is proud to be partnering with Clean Energy Fuels to develop natural gas infrastructure in the U.S. Clean Energy is an industry leader in pioneering a new way for America to fuel its vehicles and to further gain energy independence,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “With an abundance of cleaner, more affordable natural gas here in the U.S., this is an important opportunity for GE to join Clean Energy in changing the way America drives. It’s also a critical step in developing a natural gas-for-transportation fuel model that can be easily exported to other countries interested in exactly these kinds of breakthrough projects.”

Clean Energy expects to complete approximately 70 LNG stations by the end of 2012, with more planned for next year. Clean Energy’s stations are targeted at long-haul, heavy-duty trucks. In 2013, four major manufacturers will introduce the Cummins Westport 12-liter LNG engine, which is the optimum size for long-haul Class 8 trucks. Continue reading

Updated Alternative Fuel Locator Maps Online

MapMuse has released updated interactive Alternative Fuel Locator Maps that identify where consumers can fill up with alternative fuels. The maps feature stations that sell biodiesel, E85, propane, compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen, liquified natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and electric charging stations. For accuracy, the data used to identified the alternative fueling stations was verified by the Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center.

“In the green age we live in, it’d be negligent of us not to have these maps available on our site,” says Michael Pilon, owner of MapMuse. “There are more people driving alt fuel vehicles than ever before, which means there are more people looking for places to refuel.”

It is estimated there are over 800,000 alternative fuel vehicles on U.S. roads in 2009 and has risen steadily over the past few years. For these drivers, the alternative fuel maps not only gives them station locations but also directions, access restrictions, blend types, payment methods accepted, and web links. An iPhone app version is expected to be released in the next few months.

Combined, there are more than 3,000 verified stations on the list. Pilon said accuracy is extremely important to his company; he doesn’t want a consumer driving up to a station with an empty tank only to discover the station doesn’t exist.  Station owners are encouraged to submit their information for consideration.