FortisBC, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., announced today it officially started construction of its $400-million Tilbury LNG Facility expansion project. Bechtel was awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction contract to expand its Tilbury facility which will include a new 1-billion-cubic-foot full-containment LNG storage tank. Bechtel also is responsible for the startup and commissioning of the new liquefaction facility.
FortisBC is expanding their Tilbury Island LNG storage facility in Delta, BC to meet what they believe to be the long-term projected growth for LNG as transportation fuel. FortisBC Energy Inc. operates the only two LNG facilities in Western Canada. The existing Tilbury LNG Facility opened in 1971. The expanded liquefaction plant will be powered by electric drives and the facility will be air-cooled eliminating the need for cooling water. Construction is planned to be completed in November 2016. The project will add approximately 46,000 cubic meters of LNG storage and increase the facility's liquefaction capacity to 1,740 cubic meters per day.
To date, FortisBC has announced more than $17.5 million in incentives for approximately 400 heavy-duty LNG and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, as well as incentives for five marine vessels. Heavy-duty customers Vedder Transport Ltd., Arrow Transportation Systems Inc. and Denwill Enterprises Inc. acquire LNG from the existing Tilbury LNG facility.
"Our investments and the market potential for LNG as a more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly fuel source provides benefits for British Columbians – including our existing utility customers," said John Walker , Executive Vice President, Western Canadian Operations, Fortis Inc . "FortisBC LNG is helping B.C. businesses increase their competitive position, while the increased demand will bring rate benefits for our nearly one million natural gas customers across the province."
LNG America announced today an agreement with Buffalo Marine Service, Inc. to cooperate on the design of an LNG bunker fuel network for the U.S. Gulf Coast region.
LNG America is developing a hub-and-spoke delivery system for LNG as fuel for the marine market and other high horsepower applications. LNG America plans to establish a delivery infrastructure of LNG as fuel in major US ports. Buffalo Marine is a bunkering company in the Gulf of Mexico with over 50 vessels dedicated to bunkering in the region.
“Combining the bunkering experience of Buffalo Marine with our LNG experience and our progress towards building the infrastructure necessary to support LNG bunkering will help us to provide the best possible service to the emerging LNG fueled marine customers while using the best safety practices available from both industries,” said Keith Meyer, President and CEO of LNG America.
LNG America noted the agreement will incorporate Buffalo Marine’s logistical, commercial, and administrative expertise regarding bunkering operations with LNG America’s experience with LNG as fuel for high horsepower applications and overall business-development efforts related to LNG bunkering.
“Bunkering LNG in North America presents a unique opportunity for shippers—a cost effective, readily available, and extraordinarily clean fuel,” said Patrick Studdert, President of Buffalo Marine Service. “Our decades of bunkering experience in the region will mix well with LNG America’s LNG expertise in order to insure safe adoption and use of LNG as a marine fuel.”
Clean Energy Fuels today announced the launch of NGV Easy Bay™, a separation and vapor containment system available for natural gas vehicle maintenance and storage facilities. According to Clean Energy Fuels the NGV Easy Bay™, U.S. patent pending, is the first code-compliant fabric barrier system utilizing an industrial curtain designed for quick, cost-efficient installation and operation.
Developed by Clean Energy’s NGV Facility Modification team, NGV Easy Bay™ can be installed in a matter of days. Custom fabricated panels are scalable to accommodate a single bay isolation project or can be used to divide a large building into multiple bays for servicing or storing multiple vehicles.
“With NGV Easy Bay™, customers now have an unprecedented and cost-effective option available to adapt their facility for NGVs,” said Tim Newman, general manager of Clean Energy’s facility modification group. “As fleets across the country convert their vehicles to natural gas, a growing need has emerged for a scalable and practical solution to modify facilities. NGV Easy Bay™ meets these needs remarkably well.”
Clean Energy noted that NGV Easy Bay™ eliminates the costly and time-consuming requirements of conventional construction approaches by using industrial fabrics rigorously tested to meet ASTM standards for exposure to compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas.
Image: Clean Energy Fuels
According to Ezra Finkin, the Director of Policy for the Diesel Technology Forum, new clean diesel technology is being adopted by U.S. transit officials at a faster pace than other large vehicle sectors.
Finkin made his comments today at the American Public Transportation Association's Expo Bus and Maintenance Technical Session in Houston.
Finkin noted that U.S. transit agencies were adopting clean diesel technology at a faster percentage than the heavy duty trucking fleet. Nationally, 44 percent of the diesel transit buses meet or exceed the first EPA clean diesel standard – Model Year 2007 or newer – while 33 percent of the U.S. truck fleet meet or exceed the standard according to Finkin.
"The rate of adoption by transit agencies of clean diesel technology surprised us and is very significant, since transit agencies are at the forefront for evaluating the best fuels and technologies to serve their communities," Finkin said during his presentation. "It also comes at a time when there are a growing number of technology choices, incentives and pressures on transit fleets to procure technology to meet local clean air, energy and climate objectives.
Finkin noted that APTA's 2013 data showed the share of fuels and engines in the public transit bus fleet in 2013 consisted of:
77.71% Diesel Buses
0.10% Gasoline and Electric
Of the diesel buses currently in the U.S. fleet, Finkin said APTA's data showed that 81% were conventional diesels, 12% were diesel-electric, and 7% operated on biodiesel.
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. today reported it delivered for the first time over 50 million compressed natural gas gallons in one quarter. The company plans to grow its CNG sales further with a strategic move to expand its CNG market to large industrial and institutional energy users beyond the nation’s natural gas pipeline by acquiring a controlling interest in NG Advantage LLC.
According to a Clean Energy Fuels statement the NG Advantage investment will primarily be used to fund capital expenditures for expansion and growth in the business. Clean Energy will also purchase NG Advantage’s Milton, Vermont, compression station which is on track to supply nearly 16 million gasoline-gallon-equivalents of CNG annually. This station will immediately become Clean Energy’s highest-volume station in its nationwide network of almost 500 stations.
“The NG Advantage purchase is a perfect example of Clean Energy’s focus on aggressively pursuing new market opportunities to help rapidly grow our CNG gas sales,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, President and CEO of Clean Energy. “Our record growth in overall delivered gallons combined with the new market reach of NG Advantage positions Clean Energy to keep growing as our trucking business develops.”
NG Advantage’s founder and president, Tom Evslin, will remain with the company as CEO and its second largest investor, and will continue to oversee operations from its Milton offices. Founded less than four years ago, the company and the acceptance of the “virtual pipeline” have grown rapidly. As a result of this partnership, Clean Energy expects a significant increase in delivered CNG volume day one and forecasts rapid growth as NG Advantage expands with Clean Energy’s existing station network and new stations built with compressors from its IMW subsidiary.
MAN Diesel & Turbo announced today it has received an order for four MAN B&W 5G70ME-GI engines in connection with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. (DSME) agreeing to a deal with the BW Group to build two LNG carriers.
The technical engine specification complies with IMO Tier II, with options to include remedies for Tier III compliance at a later stage. The 173,400 m3 vessels are scheduled for delivery in late 2017/early 2018 and will be built at DSME’s Okpo shipyard in Geoje, Korea. The deal represents the second LNG ME-GI contract for DSME after a previous order signed in 2012.
MAN Diesel & Turbo noted in the statement the ME-GI engine gives ship-owners and operators the option of utilizing fuel or gas depending on relative price and availability, as well as environmental considerations. The ME-GI uses high-pressure gas injection that allows it to maintain the numerous positive attributes of MAN B&W low-speed engines that have made them the default choice of the maritime community.
MAN Diesel & Turbo sees significant opportunities arising for gas-fuelled tonnage as fuel prices rise and modern exhaust-emission limits tighten. Indeed, research indicates that the ME-GI engine delivers significant reductions in CO2, NOx and SOx emissions.
Gasrec, a supplier of LNG to the transport sector, has welcomed the European Union’s new directive on minimum infrastructure requirements for alternative fuels. The directive requires each member state to produce an ‘alternative fuel deployment strategy’ within two years along with new common technical standards.
Gasrec noted the strategies or ‘national policy frameworks’ will set out national targets for refueling facilities using various clean fuels. The move will provide long-term security for investors in vehicle and fuel technology, and new refueling infrastructure according to Gasrec.
For Gasrec, this provides a welcome boost in confidence, particularly for retail, logistics and transport companies switching to gas or growing their existing gas fleet.
Rob Wood, Gasrec’s CEO, said: “This is an extremely positive development from the EU which will help drive user demand for clean fuel vehicles and encourage manufacturers to increase production of these vehicles at competitive prices. This will certainly drive more businesses to adopt gas vehicles and help them cut both fuel costs and pollution from their HGV fleet.”
The EU deadline for having refueling infrastructure in place will range from 2020 to 2030 depending on the fuel type, vehicle development and region. For example, the directive stipulates by the end of 2020, member states should install enough refueling points for compressed natural gas (CNG) to be available in cities and suburban areas, while liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling facilities must be in place by the end of 2025 along TEN-T core transport networks to cater for heavy vehicle demands.
Thigpen Energy announced yesterday it has partnered with Intervale Capital. Intervale will provide growth capital to support Thigpen's fleet and geographic expansion. Thigpen is a provider of high horsepower natural gas fueling solutions in North America. Intervale is a private equity firm which invests exclusively in oilfield manufacturing and service companies.
Thigpen will work alongside Recapture Solutions, another portfolio company of Intervale, to monetize and utilize stranded flare gas. Recapture provides flare reduction and natural gas power solutions to oil and gas production companies in the Permian, Williston and DJ basins. The combination of Recapture and Thigpen's service and product offerings will enable customers to economically capture flare gas for fueling applications.
"Demand for our services is rapidly increasing and our partnership with Intervale will allow Thigpen to grow in response to this demand. Thigpen's goal is to provide comprehensive natural gas fueling solutions that integrate seamlessly with our customers' operations. We are excited to partner with Intervale, which has a track record of helping service businesses expand quickly," said President and Founder Sam Thigpen. "Recapture and Thigpen are focused on utilizing natural gas in innovative ways to save our customers money. There will be many opportunities for Recapture and Thigpen to work together to provide unique solutions to our customers".
Wärtsilä and two Indonesian partners have today signed a joint development agreement with the intention of creating the first ever bio-LNG plant in Indonesia according to a Wärtsilä statement. The co-signers of the agreement with Wärtsilä are PT Pertamina and PT Godang Tua Jaya a waste utilization sector specialist company.
Wärtsilä Oil & Gas Systems will conduct a feasibility study for the project to develop a mini bio-LNG plant with a capacity of .75 tons/hour. The plant will process municipal solid waste into biogas for use as a renewable energy source for typical vehicle fuel. In addition to the feasibility study, WOGS will provide technological support and an economic assessment. If the project is deemed to be feasible then the parties are expected to enter into an execution agreement according to Wärtsilä.
“Renewable energy is an increasingly important global requirement, and we are proud to be involved in this landmark project. Wärtsilä has the experience and technological expertise in this area to turn solid waste into a valuable resource that can benefit the community,” says Mr Sanjay Verma, Area Sales Director, Wärtsilä Ship Power.
Wärtsilä noted the company has delivered LNG plants with capacities ranging from 20,000 to 85,000 tons per year and has also developed solutions for capacities up to 1 million tons per year.
The Wärtsilä biogas liquefaction plant in Oslo, Norway converts household food waste into biomethane that is then used to fuel the local buses. The plant treats 50,000 tons of garbage per year, which produces enough fuel to run 135 buses.
Above: The Wärtsilä biogas liquefaction plant in Oslo, Norway.