February 14, 2012

Westport Works With Volvo To Make One Of Sweden’s Safest and Most Environmentally Friendly Cars

Last week, the news wires and cyber space in Sweden were buzzing with the release of Folksam’s 2012 list of the country’s safest vehicles. Included was the Volvo V70 Bi-Fuel Wagon, powered by Alternative Fuel Vehicle Sweden AB (AFV), a division of Westport LD.

For the past 15 years, Folksam, a respected insurance company in Sweden, has produced a list of the cars it considers safest and most environmentally friendly, and its list is well-recognized by the media and the public. For 2012, Folksam chose the most efficient cars in each size class from a list of 56 approved models.

Introduced to the market in 2010, the Volvo V70 Bi-Fuel was included on this year’s list as the only Swedish-produced passenger vehicle, and was praised for its combination of safety and environmental benefits.

The V70 Bi-Fuel features a natural gas engine that runs on bio-methane produced by manure or landfill gases, making it the most environmentally friendly gas that a car can use for fuel.

Westport acquired AFV last year. AFV is the sole supplier of natural gas fuel systems to Volvo Car Company (VCC), and actually installs the natural gas systems at facilities located inside VCC’s main production center in Gothenburg.

The Volvo V70 Bi-Fuel vehicle is a popular option for Swedish businesses as drivers can fill up at more than one hundred public natural gas filling stations across the country.

Along with the safety and emissions benefits, corporate and private customers are eligible for tax incentives in Sweden that make natural gas even more economical. The Volvo V70 Bi-Fuel is the second-biggest selling car in its class in Sweden.

February 2, 2012

Green Energy Oilfield Services Makes Its Move on LNG

What's the best way to haul water from an oil field? With a natural gas truck of course! Green Energy Oilfield Services (GEOS), an oilfield service company that specializes in fluid management for oil and gas well drilling, production, and servicing agrees and has purchased 60 Peterbilt 388 liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks featuring Westport HD systems. The water solutions company based in Fairfield, Texas, has committed to run its entire fleet on LNG.

Roger Nevill, GEOS’ Founder, President and COO said:

“The launch of our new natural gas fleet marks our entry into the oil and gas services business. We believe our investment in natural gas trucks will provide us with a competitive advantage as a result of lower and stable fuel pricing and lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to diesel and we have not relied on any state or federal grants.”

This is great news for Westport, as it marks another step in the right direction for natural gas transportation. Earlier last year (April 2011) Westport completed a purchase order with Heckmann Corporation, another oilfield water solutions company, for a fleet of 200 natural gas vehicles to haul water to and from frac sites. The purchase is the largest single order of  natural gas trucks by a US customer.

The buy-in from the oil and gas industry's service providers like Green Energy Oilfield Services and Heckmann signals a positive shift towards natural gas for large-scale fleet transportation. These innovative organizations are offering 'closed loop' solutions by hauling water waste from the very sites that their fleets are fueled, reducing the carbon footprint of the entire operation and encouraging reliance on domestic fuel.

Westport Ranks High with Canadian Science Museums

What do Canadian contributors to the International Space Station, NASA Space Shuttle Program, and Westport innovators have in common? They’ve all been named as the Top 10 science and technology stories of 2011 by the Canadian Science and Technology Museums Corporation.

A team of curators at the corporation (Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, the Canadian Agricultural Museum, and the Canadian Space and Aviation Museum) have chosen what they feel are the most noteworthy science and technology-related news items of 2011.

The stories all highlight breakthrough and innovative technologies that were developed in Canada.  The common thread between each story is their significant Canadian contribution and their impact on the future within their respective areas.     

“We thought this was an opportunity to highlight Canada’s incredible discoveries in the field because we have a growing awareness of our country’s contribution to scientific achievement,” explains Merilyn Read, Communications and Marketing Officer with the Canadian Science and Technology Museum.

The corporation is posting a story per day to its website over the course of 10 days. On February 2, the website highlights Dr. Philip Hill - principal inventor of Westport founding technology using clean-burning natural gas in diesel engines – who in 2011 was presented with the Encana Principal Award granted by the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation.

The initial research conducted by Dr. Hill and his team at University of British Columbia was the genesis of Westport leadership in developing and commercializing low-emissions, environmentally friendly engine systems.

High pressure direct injection (HPDI) allows diesel engines — the world’s workhorses of transportation— to operate with the same power and efficiency that they are known for, but with reduced emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, and 21-27 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.

“These museums are bringing awareness to the public about how science and technology are helping to transform Canada, and the way its citizens live, work, make decisions and behave,” says Dr. Hill. “It’s gratifying to hear that this Top 10 list highlights and acknowledges the enterprise of the people at Westport, and how their efforts influence growth and change.”

As part of the museum’s mandate, the curatorial staff is trying to engage the public and foster scientific curiosity and literacy. The museum’s team of curators collectively decided which science and technology stories they felt were most noteworthy from the past year.