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NGVAmerica News Week in Review: March 5, 2018

  • Piedmont Natural Gas Furthers Commitment to CNG with New Station in North Carolina
  • Volkswagen Group Strategy Calls for 1 Million NGVs by 2025
  • Tennessee Opens Second Round of Natural Gas and Propane Vehicle Grant Program
  • Pennsylvania Supports Natural Gas Expansion with New CNG Station on I-80 Corridor
  • NGV Refueling Infrastructure on Track for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
  • Carnival Corporation Orders Third LNG-Powere Ship for AIDA Cruises


Piedmont Natural Gas Furthers Commitment to CNG with New Station in North Carolina

February 27, 2018

Piedmont Natural Gas announced the opening of a new CNG fueling station in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a sign of growing demand as more companies choose clean, affordable natural gas to fuel their fleets of cars and trucks. This is the second new CNG refueling location the company has announced in a year’s time. Replacing the company’s existing Fayetteville station, the new facility is strategically positioned near I-95 to provide easy access for trucks and other long-haul carriers. The station also is adjacent to Piedmont’s LEED-eligible operations and customer care center, which opened in 2017.

“Piedmont is committed to sustainable business practices, and we are doing our part to help make CNG more widely available as an alternative fuel source,” said Karl Newlin, senior vice president and chief commercial officer for natural gas operations for Piedmont’s parent company, Duke Energy. “By replacing our existing station in Fayetteville, we’re now able to better serve our customers and help even more companies lower their carbon footprint by making this fuel source available.”

To date, Piedmont has converted approximately 40 percent of its own fleet to natural gas vehicles and expects that percentage to continue to grow. In 2017 alone, Piedmont’s CNG business grew by almost 25 percent, and together, Piedmont and its CNG customers displaced more than 6 million gallons of gasoline and diesel.

The station, designed with fast-fill technology, is part of the company’s network of publicly accessible stations, with seven stations in North Carolina, three locations in South Carolina, and one location in Tennessee.  To view a map that shows all 11 of Piedmont’s public CNG refueling facilities and the current price of CNG, visit their website.


Volkswagen Group Strategy Calls for 1 Million NGVs by 2025

March 5, 2018

The Volkswagen Group and its industrial partners—including gas suppliers, grid operators, and natural gas station operators—are continuing their successful brand and information campaign in 2018. Since the start of the cross-brand campaign in spring 2017, the campaign alliance has significantly enhanced the status of CNG for individual mobility in Germany. The current registration figures from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority confirm that CNG engines are currently seeing the greatest growth amongst all engine types, including diesel and electric.

This year, Volkswagen Group is introducing the SEAT Arona, the latest CNG vehicle in the company’s offerings, that will grow the available models of CNG-powered passenger cars across all the brands in the Volkswagen Group to 18. There are also vehicles powered by natural gas in the subsidiary company Volkswagen Truck & Bus, which includes the brands MAN and Scania, making the Volkswagen Group the biggest supplier of CNG models.

New impetus has been given to the brand and information offensive with the recent extension of the campaign as biomethane producer VERBIO, automotive supplier MAHLE, grid operator EWE NETZ and lightweight alloy component manufacturer Hexagon xperion have joined the industrial consortium for CNG vehicles. This development has in turn been strengthened by the marketing campaign for the Audi g-tron models.

“The campaign alliance is an impressive success story and all of us have good reason to look to the future with confidence,” said Jens Andersen, Head of Technology Strategy and Group Officer for CNG Mobility at the Volkswagen Group.

The expansion of CNG mobility is an important building block for the Volkswagen Group as it implements the realignment adopted in the context of the “TOGETHER – Strategy 2025” future program for its portfolio of power units. Today, CNG models are already making an effective contribution to the reduction of emissions in road traffic and they have CO2, nitrogen oxide, and fine-dust values that are significantly below those of gasoline and diesel engines.

Together with the industrial consortium CNG Mobility, the Volkswagen Group is striving to bring about a tenfold increase in the number of CNG vehicles registered in Germany to around one million by the year 2025. In parallel with this, the number of CNG filling stations is projected to expand in Germany from the current level of around 860 to 2,000 stations.

Since July 2017, the registration figures have been growing continuously. In January 2018, they were 370.7 percent above the equivalent year-earlier level. More CNG models were registered than ever be-fore in one month. This means that the CNG engine is currently the fastest growing form of power unit.

The Volkswagen Group additionally rewards conversion to a low-CO2 vehicle with a special bonus. As well as the environmental premium provided, customers will also receive a future premium of 2,000 euros if they purchase a CNG model before March 31, 2018.

The latest CNG product portfolio of the Volkswagen Group and other information is available here.


Tennessee Opens Second Round of Natural Gas and Propane Vehicle Grant Program

March 5, 2018

TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs has invited public, non-profit, and private Tennessee-based fleets to apply for the second round of the Tennessee Natural Gas and Propane Vehicle Grant Program.

$1.7 million will be available under the second round of this competitive funding opportunity.

Each grant will provide up to 70 percent of the incremental purchase cost or vehicle conversion of eligible vehicles, with a maximum grant of $25,000 for each eligible vehicle. The maximum amount that may be awarded to a grantee shall not exceed $250,000.

Eligible vehicles must either be purchased new, from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or OEM-authorized dealer, or be converted to run on natural gas or propane through an EPA-certified, after-market conversion.

Vehicles must be registered within the State of Tennessee, unless the vehicle is to receive International Registration Plan (IRP) apportioned registration. In the case of the latter, the entity applying for a grant must submit a letter, certifying the percentage of time that the vehicle is expected to operate within the State of Tennessee.

Eligible vehicles include dedicated CNG and LNG vehicles. Natural gas or propane-powered bi-fuel vehicles, or vehicles that are capable of operating on gasoline or diesel in addition to natural gas or propane, shall be eligible for emergency response vehicles only. Light, medium, and heavy duty vehicles will be considered eligible, as there will be no gross vehicle weight restrictions or requirements. Applicants must intend to maintain operations in Tennessee for a minimum of six years.

Applications must be received by March 15, 2018. Awards are expected to be announced by April 15, 2018, and the expected timeframe for award negotiations will be June 2018.


Pennsylvania Supports Natural Gas Expansion with New CNG Station on I-80 Corridor

February 27, 2018

A grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA EPA) will support a new fueling station that will help reduce air pollution from trucks traveling along Interstate 80. The CNG Fuel LLC station in Shippenville, Clarion County, is the recipient of a $178,785 grant through the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) FAST Act program.

“This grant will promote more use of CNG tractor trailers along I-80, which will remove hundreds of thousands of pounds of air pollution,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

The project, once completed, will displace an estimated 116,650 gallons of diesel fuel per year, as more tractor trailers equipped to run on CNG will use the facility and travel on the I-80 corridor. PA EPA says the reduction in diesel use will result in reductions of more than 86,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and more than 322,000 pounds of nitrous oxide.

The funding is made possible through the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program in support of FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act corridor designations in Pennsylvania. The program provides up to a 50 percent reimbursement grant to install public refueling infrastructure along the highway corridors in Pennsylvania designated as alternative fuel corridors by the FAST Act.

The submission period for the most recent AFIG FAST Act grant round was from September 30, 2017 through November 17, 2017. The next round of the AFIG Program supporting the FAST Act corridor designations is anticipated to open this spring, once additional corridors in Pennsylvania are announced by the Federal Highway Administration.

More information on AFIG programs can be found here.

NGV Refueling Infrastructure on Track for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

March 1, 2018

The Gazprom Management Committee reviewed the information about the Company’s ongoing efforts to develop the domestic natural gas vehicle (NGV) market and about the readiness of the NGV refueling infrastructure for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

The Company is building new CNG stations and platforms for mobile refuelers, as well as installing CNG modules at the existing filling stations. In addition, the operating NGV infrastructure is undergoing renovations.

A total of 47 CNG stations will be active in the host cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg). In 2017, four more CNG stations joined the network of 36 stations, and another seven stations will be put in operation by the start of the tournament.

In 2017, Gazprom constructed and renovated 23 NGV refueling facilities, and the company’s sales in the NGV market grew by 9.5 percent against 2016.


Carnival Corporation Orders Third LNG-Powere Ship for AIDA Cruises

February 28, 2018

Carnival Corporation has signed a shipbuilding contract for a third next-generation cruise ship for its growing AIDA Cruises brand, the leading cruise line in Germany. Scheduled for delivery in 2023, the new 180,000-ton ship, being built by leading German shipbuilder Meyer Werft GmbH at its shipyard in Papenburg, will include an estimated 2,700 staterooms and other onboard features. Featuring Carnival Corporation’s exclusive “green cruising” design and the marine industry’s most advanced fuel technology, the ship will also be fully powered at sea and in port by LNG, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, which will significantly reduce air emissions.

With today’s announcement, AIDA Cruises now has a total of three LNG ships on order. AIDAnova is scheduled to join AIDA Cruises’ fleet in December as the first ship of its new generation of LNG vessels, and the first-ever cruise ship in the world to be fully powered by LNG. The second ship of this series will be christened in the spring of 2021.

The three next-generation LNG ships for AIDA Cruises are part of Carnival Corporation’s ongoing fleet enhancement strategy with 20 new ships scheduled for delivery between 2018 and 2023.

With its three new LNG ships on the horizon, AIDA Cruises continues to pursue its pioneering mission of “green cruising” and sustainable operations. As of 2023, more than half of AIDA Cruises’ guests will be spending their vacation on a cruise ship that runs fully or partially on LNG. The use of LNG for ship power prevents emissions of particulate matter and sulfur oxides almost entirely at sea and in port. It also significantly reduces the emission of nitrogen oxides and CO2.