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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: February 5, 2018

  • Argonne Launches New Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Calculator
  • TCEQ Announces New Round of Grant Funding for Alternative Fuel Stations
  • New Studies Highlight Benefits of RNG as a Transportation Fuel
  • Peoples Names Natural Gas Boating Ambassador, Installs Hybrid Natural Gas System
  • IVECO BUS to Deliver 50 CNG Buses to Ivory Coast’s Economic Capital
  • Van Oord Launches New LNG-Powered Crane Vessel


Argonne Launches New Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Calculator

January 31, 2018

The Argonne National Laboratory launched the Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Calculator (HDVEC) at a presentation at FedFleet 2018 in Washington, DC, the nation’s largest gathering of public fleet managers sponsored by the U.S. General Services Administration.

This online resource was created to provide state officials and fleet managers with an accurate tool to gauge emissions reductions across various medium and heavy duty vehicle project options affiliated with the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Settlement.  NGVAmerica welcomes the HDVEC tool as reflecting current vehicle availability and emissions performance data and congratulates Argonne on its success.

“As public officials begin to evaluate how best to clean their state’s air with their allotted VW Trust funding, this resource will prove vital in evaluating cost-effectiveness of real world vehicle options,” said Andrew Burnham of Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research.  “The Vehicle Emissions Calculator is a valuable tool for policymakers, fleet managers and procurement administrators alike as they look to compare vehicle technologies for emissions reductions associated with fleet operations.”

Available at the Argonne  website and linked to on the NGVAmerica’s website, the HDVEC estimates the vehicle operation nitrogen oxide (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) as well as the well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) of current commercially-available alternative fuel medium- and heavy-duty vehicles eligible for funding under the VW settlement.  Volkswagen’s $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust fund provides each state an incredible opportunity to make an immediate and tangible impact on air quality by targeting medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, the leading source of these toxic air contaminants in almost every metropolitan area.

“Heavy-duty vehicles are the fastest growing segment of U.S. transportation in terms of energy use and emissions, and HDVs are major emitters of NOx, diesel particulate matter, and greenhouse gases,” said NGVAmerica President Daniel Gage.  “Mobile sources account for 50 percent of America’s smog-precursor emissions like NOx.  This calculator demonstrates that allocating funds to deploy low-NOx natural gas vehicles provides the best way to deliver immediate and cost-effective NOx reductions and air quality benefit.”

The tool can calculate results for three project types allowable under the Trust Settlement:

Environmental Mitigation with Scrappage – new alternative fuel versus diesel, plus additional benefit from early retirement of the scrapped vehicle.

Environmental Mitigation with Repower – vehicle after repower versus diesel before repower.

Clean Vehicle Replacement – new alternative fuel versus diesel.

The HDVEC was developed using Argonne’s Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation Tool (AFLEET) available here. AFLEET Tool 2017 uses emissions data from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) and Argonne’s Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) models.

This week marks the deadline for the VW Trustee to designate or certify Beneficiary Status for the States and the start of when states can begin to file settlement funding spending plans.  Funds could be available for distribution as early as March, pending approval of state plans.

For more information on the most cost-effective investment of VW Trust resources for the most NOx emissions reductions attained, visit the NGVAmerica website here.


TCEQ Announces New Round of Grant Funding for Alternative Fuel Stations

January 30, 2018

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announces that a second round of grants is available to eligible individuals, businesses, and government entities to continue the development of a network of natural gas and other alternative fuel fueling stations. The commission says these stations serve as a foundation for a self-sustaining market for alternative fuel vehicles in Texas.

The Alternative Fueling Facilities Program grants are part of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, and are offered to eligible applicants that intend to build, own, and operate natural gas or other alternative fuel stations in the Clean Transportation Zone. AFFP grants offset a portion of the cost of either the construction of new facilities dispensing natural gas or alternative fuels, or the expansion of existing facilities to provide new services or capabilities.

Applications will be accepted until close of business on March 29, 2018. For more information, contact Camen Gupta at 512.239.4966.


New Studies Highlight Benefits of RNG as a Transportation Fuel

February 1, 2018

The US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the sustainable energy NGO Energy Vision released two case studies assessing the results of pioneering projects that were among the first to produce Renewable Compressed Natural Gas (RCNG) vehicle fuel, by using anaerobic digesters to capture the biogases from decomposing organic waste.

Energy Vision and Argonne produced the studies jointly. One study looks at Fair Oaks Farms, a large dairy cooperative in Indiana with roughly 36,000 cows. It converts manure to RCNG using a large anaerobic digester and uses the fuel to power its milk tanker trucks. The other study assesses the Sacramento BioDigester, the first food-­‐‑waste digester in California to turn commercial organic waste into RCNG vehicle fuel using anaerobic digestion.

“These projects are trail blazers, and their experience bodes well for the future of renewable natural gas,” said Matt Tomich, president of Energy Vision and co-­‐‑author of the case studies. “Their success can serve as models for other places with large organic waste streams, which is virtually every urban and rural setting in the country.”

According to Argonne National Labs GREET model, RCNG produced from anaerobic digestion of food waste is net-­‐‑carbon negative over its lifecycle, including production, use and avoided emissions. That means making and using it actually results in lower atmospheric GHG than if the fuel were never made or used. RCNG derived from a food waste digester meets or exceeds international goals of reducing GHG emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050.

Nationwide, renewable natural gas has grown over 70 percent annually in recent years—facilitated by inclusion in the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2), which sets a minimum volume for the amount of renewable fuel that must be used in the transportation sector. Renewable natural gas production for transportation totaled 151 million GGEs in 2017, up from 125 million GGEs in 2016 and 90 million GGEs in 2015.

RCNG also saves on fuel costs and allows truck and bus fleets to operate more quietly and efficiently, generating fewer pollutants that threaten public health. Compared to diesel, it reduces carbon monoxide up to 70 percent, nitrous oxide up to 87 percent, and particulate matter up to 90 percent, as well as reducing noise up to 90 percent.

Fair Oaks Farm’s digester generates enough R-­‐‑CNG to displace some 1.5 million gallons of diesel, and to cut annual GHG emissions by 19,500 tons CO2e. That’s a 43 percent reduction in carbon emissions per gallon of milk, a selling point that helped the company negotiate an exclusive supply agreement with the national grocery chain Kroger.

The Sacramento BioDigester was built by a public-­‐‑private partnership in 2013. Atlas Disposal and other haulers collect the organic wastes from area businesses and deliver it to the digester, which produces enough RCNG to displace 500,000 gallons of diesel a year and divert up to 40,000 tons of organic waste from landfills. Atlas’s subsidiary ReFuel Energy Partners uses that R-­‐‑CNG to power its 30 natural gas powered refuse trucks. Atlas is committed to converting its entire refuse fleet to natural gas as older diesel vehicles retire.


Peoples Names Natural Gas Boating Ambassador, Installs Hybrid Natural Gas System

January 31, 2018

In a contest partnership with Pittsburgh Magazine, Peoples has named a local boat owner and entrepreneur to serve as the first Peoples Boat Ambassador. Nicole Moga, owner-operator of Boat Pittsburgh, will have one of her rental pontoon boats fitted with a hybrid natural gas engine at Peoples expense. Hers will be the first non-industrial natural gas boat in Pennsylvania.

“Natural gas is a cleaner-burning, less-expensive fuel source,” explained Miguel Guerreiro, President of Blue Gas Marine, whose company will perform the engine installation. “In addition to realizing long-term fuel savings, Nicole’s new hybrid system will avoid toxic fuel spills, reduce carbon monoxide fumes and keep the waterways cleaner.”

Peoples says it is in the early stages of adding a CNG fueling station to Washington’s Landing Marina on the Allegheny River. It will be the first fresh-water CNG station in the nation that will be able to serve both commercial and recreational boaters. Natural gas boaters with trailered watercraft will also be able to refuel at any land-based CNG station. More information about marine natural gas is available at Peoples website.


IVECO BUS to Deliver 50 CNG Buses to Ivory Coast’s Economic Capital

January 30, 2018

IVECO BUS announced an agreement for the delivery of 50 buses powered by natural gas to the city of Abidjan, the financial capital of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa. The agreement was signed with the city’s public transit provider SOTRA (Société des transports Abidjanais) and includes an additional 400 petroleum fueled buses.

The Crealis models will be the first BHNS (High Service Level Bus) natural gas buses delivered to the African continent. This marks an important step forward for the country and perhaps for the continent thanks to the significant environmental benefits offered from the adoption of natural gas buses.

With natural gas, IVECO says the emissions levels relating to fine particles are close to zero and those of Nitrogen Oxide are reduced by 60 percent compared to the current European regulations.


Van Oord Launches New LNG-Powered Crane Vessel

February 2, 2018

Van Oord, an international marine contractor based in the Netherlands, has successfully launched a new crane vessel in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It is the first LNG-powered vessel in the Van Oord fleet. The vessel will contribute to the further modernization of Van Oord’s fleet and mark the start of a new generation of dredging vessels.

“Energy efficiency is one of the top items on our sustainability agenda,” said Jaap de Jong, Staff Director of the Ship Management Department at Van Oord. “To reduce our carbon footprint, we are researching the use of alternative fuels, such as LNG and biofuel. With this investment, we will be gaining experience of LNG-powered vessels and the related benefits.”

The delivery of the vessel and its christening are scheduled for April 2018. It will generally be deployed to Netherlands-based projects.


SEA/LNG Launches New LNG Bunker Navigation Tool

January 31, 2018

SEA\LNG, the multi-sector industry coalition aiming to accelerate the widespread adoption of LNG as a marine fuel, has launched a new online tool to improve understanding of the current, and rapidly evolving, LNG bunkering infrastructure landscape.

Launched from the 6th LNG Bunkering Summit that recently took place in Amsterdam, the new Bunker Navigator Tool uses member, marine information services, and publicly available data to provide easy access to the latest developments in the global LNG bunkering infrastructure. SEA\LNG’s map-based tool, provides an overview of key LNG bunkering developments and how this growing infrastructure relates to major global shipping routes, traditional oil bunkering ports, and the bulk LNG infrastructure which will provide the foundation for future bunkering services.

“The coalition’s mission since inception has been to further the shipping industry’s knowledge of the viability and sustainability of LNG as a marine fuel,” said Peter Keller, SEA\LNG chairman and executive vice president, Tote. “A key barrier has been a general lack of understanding of current and forthcoming LNG bunkering infrastructure. What we sought to achieve with the Bunker Navigator Tool is a quick, easy-to-access platform that includes relevant, up-to-date, and free-to-access information on LNG infrastructure and bunker development.”

Today, LNG is readily available in bulk at circa 150 locations worldwide, and there is a huge bulk LNG infrastructure of regasification terminals and liquefaction plants globally. Of the world’s top oil-bunkering ports, nine of the top ten offer LNG bunkering, or will do so by 2020.

However, it is the movement of LNG from bulk facilities to the ships, more commonly known as the ‘last mile’, where efforts are being concentrated to enable easy access to LNG as a marine fuel.

As well as an overview of key LNG bunkering developments, the map-based tool enables access to case studies which describe the bunkering projects being developed by SEA\LNG members at specific locations, with more added as they become available.

The new Bunker Navigator Tool can be accessed here.