NGVAmerica News Week in Review: March 19, 2018
- JTA to Expand CNG Bus Services with $16.9 Million Grant from US DOT
- NGVAmerica President Testifies for 5-Year Alternative Fuel Tax Credit, Calls for Parity
- Coalition Finalizes 2018 Legislative Agenda, Plans to Boost Educational Efforts
- Stabilis Energy Announces Opening of West Texas LNG Fuel Depot
- CSA Group Publishes New Online Training for Disposing of CNG Containers
- Valvoline Launches Engine Oil Approved for Use in Natural Gas Engines
- GasLog Ltd. Orders a Newbuild LNG Carrier from Samsung Heavy Industries
JTA to Expand CNG Bus Services with $16.9 Million Grant from US DOT
March 17, 2018
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) was awarded a $16.9 million Capital Investment Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The funds will be used for the First Coast Flyer Bus Rapid Transit East Corridor, or Red Line, which is the fourth segment of a five-phased First Coast Flyer system planned for the Jacksonville area.
The First Coast Flyer Red Line will operate with 19 energy efficient compressed natural gas buses, and the 18.5-mile line will be the longest corridor in the network and nearly doubles the footprint of the existing First Coast Flyer system.
“The signing of this Capital Investment Grant Agreement is another significant step in the First Coast Flyer program for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “The First Coast Flyer initiative has already transformed travel in the Northeast Florida region with the Green and Blue Lines which were launched in December 2015 and December 2016 respectively.”
The $33.9 million East Corridor project is funded by the FTA, Florida Department of Transportation and the JTA and includes 21 branded stations, transit signal priority at 32 intersections (holds green lights, allowing buses to move through intersections without stopping) and off-board fare collection.
“The continued growth and expansion of the First Coast Flyer is connecting our communities in exciting new ways. This added means of transportation between downtown and the beaches enhances our economic and cultural opportunities while improving safety and efficiency,” said Congressman John Rutherford (FL-04). “I commend JTA for its continued efforts to improve accessibility in our fast-growing communities.”
The Red Line is scheduled to launch in December 2018 on the East Corridor. It will operate between Rosa Parks Transit Station and the Jacksonville Beach along the Arlington Expressway and Beach Boulevard with stops at major destinations, including Florida State College Jacksonville South and Downtown Campuses.
NGVAmerica President Testifies for 5-Year Alternative Fuel Tax Credit, Calls for Parity
March 14, 2018
NGVAmerica President Daniel Gage today testified before the U.S. House Ways & Means Tax Policy Subcommittee about the need for a 5-year extension of the alternative fuel tax credits (Internal Revenue Codes 6426 and 6427), and the alternative fueling infrastructure credit (Internal Revenue Code 30C).
“If we want cleaner air we need cleaner trucks,” Gage told Chairman Vern Buchanan (FL) and subcommittee members. “We need federal incentives like these credits to encourage the replacement of aging dirty fleets with clean, zero-emissions-equivalent natural gas powertrains. We at NGVA believe that every child in America can and should awake in a neighborhood with clean air by 2025. Natural gas vehicles get us there.”
Panelists had three minutes to provide testimony before answering questions posed by committee members. Gage testified alongside NGVA member American Natural Gas (ANG) founder and CEO Andrew West. NGVA’s comments focused on the fact that:
Natural gas vehicles are sustainable with unmatched emissions benefits. The newest natural gas engines with Zero Emissions Equivalent technology produce 90% fewer NOx emissions than the current standard, and when they are fueled with renewable natural gas, they have up to 115% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than diesel well-to-wheel;
Natural gas vehicles are responsible. Investing in natural gas fleets is the most cost-effective NOx emissions investment of any technology; and
Natural gas vehicles are proven, road tested, and commercially-ready-right-now, unlike many touted alternative options like electric and hydrogen fuel cell which enjoy more lucrative federal incentives.
Gage detailed how a 5-year extension for 2018 – 2022 would offset the cost of new, cleaner-burning trucks and accelerate the investment payback for consumers and businesses, providing some partial parity with other emerging technologies and encouraging natural gas usage and new research and development.
“Natural gas vehicles are powered by American fuel, American technology, and American innovation. Moving forward, our industry needs certainty and deserves parity with other zero emissions equivalent technologies,” concluded Gage.
NGVA member companies are encouraged to submit their own letters of support for an AFTC extension directly to the House Ways and Means Committee here. Deadline for submission is March 28.
Coalition Finalizes 2018 Legislative Agenda, Plans to Boost Educational Efforts
March 5, 2018
The California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition has finalized its proactive legislative agenda for this session, so far sponsoring two bills and opposing one, and planning events to educate legislators and their staff about clean transportation issues and technology.
The Coalition’s sponsored bills are AB 2061, the Clean Truck Deployment Act, which increases weight limits for alternative fuel vehicles, and AB 2506, which allows state fleets to use near-zero-emission NGVs to meet requirements for clean vehicle purchases. The Coalition continues to oppose AB 1745, which bans registering all new non-zero-emission passenger cars by January 1, 2040.
“We’ve hit the ground running this session,” said Coalition President Thomas Lawson. “We’re excited that legislators are introducing policies that demonstrate the role that NGVs—and all alternative-fuel technologies—should play in cleaning up California’s air.”
The Coalition is also closely watching several bills that it may support. Of particular interest are AB 2006 and AB 2008, which support technology-inclusive approaches to clean transportation.
AB 2006, written by Assemblymember Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), establishes the Agricultural Worker Clean Transportation Investment Program, which would provide funding for purchasing near-zero-emission and zero-emission vehicles to use as vanpools for agricultural workers who live in disadvantaged or low-income communities. AB 2008, by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), allows truck buyers to exclude from their gross income any funding received through the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program for buying new low-emission or zero-emission engines.
Additionally, the Assembly and the Senate have filed spot bills (AB 3187 and SB 1440) that indicate their intention to write legislation establishing California’s goals for procuring biomethane. The Coalition will closely monitor these bills, particularly as they relate to dairy-based biomethane and production of RNG.
Lawson has also begun working with legislative advocate Josiah Young, an attorney with Churchill White LLP, a Sacramento law firm focused on public policy.
“We’re at the state capitol every day to educate and express our concerns,” said Young. “We’re working to change the misconception that California is on a ZEV-only path to meet its air quality goals, and to ensure that policymakers know California can start cleaning up fleets now by employing natural gas technologies.”
Legislative bill hearings begin this month, so Young and Lawson are planning two educational events for legislators and their staff members. This month, Lawson will host a legislative briefing to discuss the importance of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the role that low-carbon fuels, including RNG, and internal combustion engines can play in California’s economy and in meeting air quality goals.
In May, the Coalition will hold its annual lobby day in Sacramento. Like last year’s event, it will focus on educating policymakers about the NGV industry and the technology’s immediate benefits for the environment. Lawson also plans to advocate for the Coalition’s sponsored bills.
Meanwhile, Lawson is encouraging Coalition members and NGV stakeholders to share their success stories with state policymakers, informing them about new product launches, CARB certification wins, and case studies that demonstrate how fleets are using NGVs to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
“Legislators really listen to their constituents, and our members’ voices and stories are a powerful way to let them know about the benefits that NGVs are providing right in their districts,” said Lawson. “I would love to help facilitate meetings between our members and legislative staff members so they can engage one-on-one.”
Stabilis Energy Announces Opening of West Texas LNG Fuel Depot
March 14, 2018
Stabilis Energy announced the opening of a 40,000 gallon LNG fuel depot in Odessa, Texas. The LNG fuel depot will provide customers with convenient 24-hour access to LNG and related services.
“Stabilis is committed to providing our customers with the most convenient, reliable, and cost effective LNG fuel solutions,” said Steve Stump, Vice President of Sales at Stabilis Energy. “This fuel depot will serve our existing West Texas customers and make Stabilis LNG more readily available for new applications.”
“This fuel depot signals Stabilis’ commitment to providing reliable and cost effective LNG solutions to the West Texas market,” continued Jim Reddinger, President and CFO of Stabilis Energy. “In addition to installing the fuel depot, Stabilis continues to evaluate LNG production opportunities in West Texas.”
CSA Group Publishes New Online Training for Disposing of CNG Containers
March 19, 2018
CSA Group is pleased to announce a new no-cost online training course: Best practice for defueling, decommissioning, and disposal of compressed natural gas vehicle fuel containers. This highly interactive online training complements the new edition of the SPE 2.1.1 standard – which addresses how to defuel and decommission containers and handle condemned containers at their end of life. This includes guidance on purging and destroying containers to ensure that they are taken out of commission and destroyed either at the end of their life cycle or after being condemned.
“CSA Group’s commitment to publishing best-practice documents and supporting online training, such as this one, are key drivers for the safety and well-being of CNG users and the industry in general, said Victor Fe, Fleet Applications and Standards Coordinator of FortisBC Energy Inc. and Co-chair of SPE 2.1.1.
Due to a lack of condemnation procedures, damaged or expired containers are often available for sale to the public and containers that may still be pressurized arrive at landfill sites, both of which can lead to serious incidents. And since regulations currently prohibit the transport of charged containers, there is a need for widespread awareness of best practices for the safe venting and disposal of such containers.
To access CSA SPE 2.1.1 or the SPE 2.1.1 Online Training, visit CSA Group’s online store where it is available at no cost for a limited time. For information regarding participation on CSA Group’s SPE 2.1 Technical Subcommittee or other committees for natural gas vehicle components and systems, please contact Bridget Bringman, Project Manager at CSA Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The development of CSA SPE 2.1 Series, and supporting activities are made possible by a financial contribution from Natural Resources Canada.
Valvoline Launches Engine Oil Approved for Use in Natural Gas Engines
March 13, 2018
Valvoline Inc. has introduced Valvoline Premium Blue One Solution 9200, an engine oil approved for use in natural gas, API CK-4 application diesel and API SN application gas fleet engines.
“The purpose of Premium Blue One Solution is to dramatically simplify the fill process for fleet managers, enabling one proven product to be used across a number of engine applications,” said David Young, vice president of Valvoline Heavy Duty. “We’ve taken our innovation to the next step in terms of natural gas engine oil, bringing a new brand product to the marketplace.”
The new Premium Blue One Solution was officially unveiled at the TMC Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia.
Valvoline Premium Blue One Solution was initially developed as part of Valvoline’s close relationship with Cummins Westport (CWI), which has introduced a new series of low-emission engines. Through that partnership, Valvoline created an engine oil that is the recommended product for those Cummins engines — and can also be used in engines from other manufacturers.
Valvoline says its Premium Blue One Solution is formulated with high temperature oxidation resistance to support long oil life, outstanding wear protection, and superior deposit protection compared to industry requirements.
GasLog Ltd. Orders a Newbuild LNG Carrier from Samsung Heavy Industries
March 12, 2018
GasLog Ltd., an international owner, operator and manager of LNG carriers, has ordered a newbuild Flex Plus vessel with XDF propulsion from Samsung Heavy Industries. The newbuild vessel is scheduled to be delivered in the second quarter of 2020 and is currently unchartered. The Company has also agreed options with Samsung for additional newbuild vessels.
“Given that the outlook for LNG shipping demand remains robust, and with increasing evidence that newbuild prices are starting to rise, we have moved to lock in a very attractive price for our second newbuild order in 2018,” said Paul Wogan, Chief Executive Officer of GasLog. “We remain confident that the unit freight cost advantage offered by the latest generation vessels will make this ship highly attractive to customers looking for the most competitive solution to their LNG shipping requirements.”