April 28, 2014

Medicine Hat Steers its Fleet Towards Natural Gas

The City of Medicine Hat likes to plan ahead.

When the Alberta municipality chose to steer its fleet towards natural gas a few years ago, the main reasons were more predictable municipal budgets, in addition to environmental benefits for a more sustainable community.

The city has ordered a fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to be delivered over the next several years, in addition to natural gas-powered garbage trucks and a few light duty trucks.

John Komanchuk, the City of Medicine Hat’s CNG Project Manager, says tumultuous diesel prices have made municipal budget planning – a process which is done three years in advance – increasingly challenging.

“The way the price of diesel has swung over the last several years has made budgets difficult,” John says. “We anticipate more stability with CNG.”

April 18, 2014

Truck World 2014 Meets the Westport iCE PACK™ LNG Tank System

Last week, Westport was at Truck World in Toronto, exhibiting the Westport iCE PACK™ LNG Tank System at Canada’s National Truck Show. The event features over 300 exhibitors including trucks, trailers, equipment, tools, technology and services for the trucking industry within 300,000 square feet.

There was significant interest in natural gas technology and infrastructure from a broad range of attendees which included fleet managers, students and drivers, fuel infrastructure providers and partners.

April 15, 2014

So You’re EPA & CARB Certified, So What?

Last week Westport announced it received certification from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for its 2014 model year Westport WiNG™ Power System Ford F-150 pickup truck, with the dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) system. Westport is the only natural gas system provider that currently offers a CARB certified Ford F-150.

Westport also received Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification for its 2015 model year Ford F-250 and F-350 super duty trucks with the Westport WiNG™ bi-fuel CNG system.

What do these certifications mean for consumers?

April 4, 2014

Emergency Power Gets a New Source of Fuel

Turning waste into power is something Korean gas generator producer Hanatech knows a lot about.

The company specializes in producing large, 450 kilowatt gas generators that turn biogas – carbon and methane emitted from waste sources like manure and trash – into power. These large 22 Litre engine power units are at work around the world – in a landfill gas generation plant in Scottsdale, Alabama and a pig farm in Vietnam, among others.

But when the company was approached by a Japanese customer to produce power from a much smaller generator using liquefied propane gas (LPG), it sought out a partner in Westport.

“We have experience manufacturing gas engine generators, but they are big structure engines based on diesel engines,” said Hanatech CEO Jeong Kyoon. “It’s very difficult to buy LPG engines in Korea.”

As a result of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and subsequent Tsunami, the country began to rethink its emergency power generation needs. Jeong says this created a demand for LPG-powered generators for internally displaced refugees to use for basic survival needs in temporary arrangements.
Westport's Jun Chung looks at a power generator with a 2.4L LPG engine from Westport. Westport has supplied the Korean-company Hanatech with the engine as a demonstration product.

April 1, 2014

Bridging Visions for the Future of Gas

Westport at GLOBE 2014 [Recap]

The role of gas in the future of 21st century energy systems around the world was highlighted at the GLOBE 2014 sustainability conference in Vancouver last week. 

Westport’s Vice President of Strategy Karen Hamberg joined leaders from other centers of innovation to present Westport’s vision for natural gas in transportation on a five member panel titled Natural Gas: The Transition Fuel. She was joined by panelists from the Canadian Gas Association (CGA), FortisBC, and Deloitte. Each presenter brought a different perspective and area of focus to the table, but there was much consensus on the unique advantages of gas to support and enable clean energy transitions.

John Walker, the President and CEO of FortisBC, a gas distribution company operating in British Columbia, started the panel remarking on the history of gas in BC and how the company’s investments in LNG facilities are today finding new uses and delivering value well beyond their original anticipated scope.