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This week, Alpha Coal West, a leading U.S. coal producer, announced it will convert its entire fleet of Caterpillar 793s to operate on LNG at the Eagle Butte Mine in Wyoming. In June 2012, Alpha Coal West became the first company to operate mining haul trucks using natural gas, having initiated a pilot program on three trucks in conjunction
with GFS Corp, the maker of the EVO-MT conversion system. Late last year, the company converted a fourth truck. After a year and a half of daily operation and proof of concept, Alpha Coal West has decided to move forward with the conversion of 12 additional trucks at Eagle Butte. GFS Corp will convert the Caterpillar 793 fleet at the Eagle Butte Coal Mine to GFS’s NG+D, natural gas plus diesel conversion system. The 12 truck conversion will phase in over time, with the last conversions scheduled for October 2014. Alpha Coal West is also installing permanent, full-scale LNG fuel storage and dispensing infrastructure to replace the temporary solution used during the pilot. GFS Corp currently offers conversion kits for the mechanical drive Caterpillar 777 and 793 as well as the electrical drive Komatsu 830 and 930. Conversions for other truck models are under development.