UPS to Grow NG Fleet with Additional 700 LNG Tractor Trailers

Hats off to UPS—the shipping company that’s probably made a delivery to your business or home within the past week. A week doesn’t go by that MDN HQ doesn’t get a delivery from the big brown truck! UPS currently has a fleet of 2,600 alternative fuel vehicles—running on everything from electric to biomethane. They’re adding another 700 new vehicles to that number—all of them liquefied natural gas (LNG) tractor trailers. UPS will also build four private refueling stations as part of the program—three in Tennessee and one in Texas.

LNG is different from CNG, or compressed natural gas. LNG is natural gas cooled to the point it becomes a liquid and is typically used in long haul vehicles, like tractor trailers. CNG is typically used in passenger vehicles and short haul trucks. Here’s the announcement from UPS about growing their long haul fleet using LNG:

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PA Republicans Introduce Marcellus Tax Credits to Create Jobs

Pennsylvania Republicans want the burgeoning Marcellus Shale industry in the state to create even more jobs for Pennsylvanians–so they’ve introduced legislation that will grant tax credits (not assistance, just a break on high taxes) to companies that do things like convert fleets of vehicles from running on gasoline to running on CNG (compressed natural gas). The amounts add up to a few million dollars, a fly speck in the overall budget, but of course it makes the state’s Democrats apoplectic:

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Antero Res 2nd Marcellus Driller to Use 100% NatGas Rig Engines

The parade of rig conversions in the Marcellus Shale to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) continues. MDN previously told you about first EQT, then CONSOL switching to duel-fuel LNG/diesel engines. After EQT and CONSOL, Seneca Resources started to convert drilling rigs to run on 100% LNG (see Seneca Boasts First 100% LNG-Powered Drill Rig in Marcellus). You may now add Antero Resources to the club.

Antero recently converted the first of three rigs in West Virginia to run on 100% natural gas engines manufactured (as they were for Seneca) by General Electric. The engines will run on LNG, propane or even dry "field gas" that comes from the well itself. Kewl. From the Antero/GE press release:

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REV LNG, 11 Others Finalists in Shale Gas Innovation Contest

A shout-out and big congratulations to REV LNG (headquartered near Rochester, NY), one of 12 finalists in this year’s Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation Contest. Each year the Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center conducts a contest looking for the “best shale gas-oriented innovations, new product ideas, or service concepts that are either in the development stage or recently launched.” They are awarding three $25,000 prizes this year.

Through his work with Shale Daily, MDN editor Jim Willis has had the pleasure of working with, and learning about, the unique technology REV LNG has developed. The company is one of the very few in the United States that buys, transports and sets up “mobile filling stations” (at drill pad sites) so drillers can use liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power their equipment. REV LNG’s uniqueness is that it’s a turn-key service. Customers just pay a “per gallon” fee to fill it up, and REV LNG takes care of the rest. We wish them well in the competition!

Here’s the press release and full list of all the very worthy companies selected to be in the final 12:

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WV NatGas Vehicle Task Force Releases 17 Recommendations

In June 2012, then acting (now newly elected) WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed a 21-member Natural Gas Vehicle Task Force with the mission of providing a road map for converting at least part of the state’s fleet of vehicles to run on natural gas (see WV Task Force Investigates CNG for State Vehicles).

The task force met, talked, researched and did their job. Yesterday, Gov. Tomblin released a 38-page report containing the task force’s recommendations along with loads of other useful information including helpful maps (a full copy of the report is embedded below). Here’s a quick list of the task force’s 17 recommendations:

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WV Gov. Tomblin Proposes Ending Tax Credit for Electric Cars

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law a tax credit in 2011 that covers 35% of the cost for “alternative fuel vehicles”—up to $7,500 for passenger cars and $25,000 for large trucks. His “good intentions” are costing too much. The original bill covered many types of alternative fuels, including electric and coal liquids. Gov. Tomblin wants to change that. He’s proposing new legislation that eliminates the tax credit—now—for all vehicle types except those that run on natural gas.

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CNG Fueling Corridor for Motorists Comes to WV – Fill ’er Up!

IGS Energy, America’s largest independent supplier of retail natural gas, believes natural gas is no longer the “fuel of tomorrow” when it comes to vehicles, but instead is “the fuel of today.” One of the biggest issues for the adoption and use of natural gas-powered vehicles is lack of fueling stations. IGS announced yesterday they are building a string of CNG (compressed natural gas) fueling stations along Interstate 79 from Charleston, WV to Mount Morris, PA—an area they have dubbed the “CNG Fueling Corridor.”

IGS says this is just the beginning…

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Northeast PA Convenience Store Chain Installs CNG Pumps

In what seems to be a flood of news about CNG (compressed natural gas) filling stations popping up for vehicles, a convenience store chain in the Marcellus-rich area of northeastern PA is in the process of installing CNG filling pumps at three (so far) of it’s 70 stores in PA and NY.

One of the three locations—Towanda (Bradford County), PA—is having its “grand opening” today, but the new pump has already been operating for about month. Towanda is the very first public CNG filling location in northern PA:

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More CNG Vehicles on the Way in Centre County, PA

More evidence that compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG) are taking off comes from Centre County, PA where local elected officials are applying for a grant to help purchase CNG vehicles for the county and local towns.

Aside from the cost to convert vehicles to CNG (which state and federal grants help with), the only thing that really holds back local municipalities from adopting CNG technology are fueling stations:

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New Technology Converts Diesel Engines to Mix in NatGas

Here’s a new one: Chesapeake Energy subsidiary Peake Fuel Solutions has just introduced a new product to the marketplace aimed at trucking firms. It converts diesel engines to run on a mixture of both diesel fuel and natural gas, something they call DNG, or diesel natural gas. The technology converts diesel engines to run on up to 70% natural gas—either compressed or liquefied—meaning the engine runs cleaner and costs a lot less to operate given the low price of natural gas.

From the Chesapeake/Peake press release:

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Regulatory Hurdles in Converting Vehicles to NatGas

MDN has highlighted plenty of stories about companies and governments hopping on the bandwagon to convert vehicle fleets to run clean-burning natural gas. Why wouldn’t you? It’s half the cost of gasoline! There are, of course, some hurdles along the way—namely finding filling stations. But ever-so-gradually more filling stations are appearing. But in addition to the problem of lack of filling stations, there are federal, and often state, regulatory hurdles to consider as well.

A new white paper from the Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center takes a look at both Pennsylvania and federal regulations when it comes to converting vehicles to run on natural gas (a copy of the white paper is embedded below). Here’s the press release announcing the white paper, which provides a good overview of what’s in it:

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Handy Market Overview of U.S. NG Vehicle Infrastructure

The natural gas vehicle (NG vehicle) market in North America has all the signs of rapidly expanding. FC Business Intelligence, which is hosting the 2nd Natural Gas Vehicle Infrastructure Conference & Exhibition next February in Houston, has created a handy info pack full of charts, facts and figures about the NG vehicle market in North America (see below). The info pack is a clever marketing ploy by FC to garner interest in the conference—but there’s certainly nothing wrong with that! Hey, it worked. The info pack is worth your time if you have an interest in NG vehicles.

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