Kenworth Trucks with Vocational Energy for Fueling
Indianapolis-based Monarch Beverage is talking up a $6.7 million project to convert 85% of its fleet to compressed natural gas, tapping Vocational Energy to build an on-site fueling station. Monarch has been testing a Kenworth T660 with the new ISX12 G engine from Cummins Westport for more than a year, and is expected to take delivery of ISX12 G-powered T800s in 2013.
“The initial financial investment involved in the CNG conversion is significant, but the long-term financial and environment benefits merit the switch,” senior VP Fred Dufour said in a release. “The conversion will reduce our diesel consumption by close to 1 million gallons annually – reducing fuel prices approximately 60% and our greenhouse emissions by an estimated 22%.”
Dufour told F&F that Vocational Energy is building Monarch’s CNG station. “Once complete, nearly 100 Monarch Beverage trucks will run on CNG,” the company says. The new CNG station is to be finished by March 15, 2013. The fueling station investment is $2.3 million, NGVAmerica reported.
“Monarch locks in diesel on contract for $3.85 a gallon,” the association reported this past weekend. “But it can buy natural gas for $1.55 per gallon. Since its trucks burn roughly 1 million gallons of diesel per year, converting 80% of them to natural gas could save Monarch $1.8 million per year.
Three Year Payback
“Monarch’s CNG trucks cost $60,000 more than a similar-sized diesel trucks, but Dufour feels that the fuel savings will allow Monarch to pay off the new trucks within three years,” NGVAmerica said.
Monarch is fueling its current CNG trucks at a temporary station, Dufour says. The firm has 27 CNG-fueled Kenworth T440 trucks, and according to Andy Douglas, national sales manager for specialty markets at Kenworth (as quoted by Monarch), “is looking to add a significant number of Kenworth T800s equipped with the new Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine in 2013.”
“For the past year,” Douglas said, “Monarch Beverage has tested this new engine in a Kenworth T660 and provided useful feedback to Kenworth and Cummins regarding its capabilities.”
Palmer Trucks is the local Kenworth dealer.
“Market shifts in the long-term supply of natural gas and expectations for stable natural gas prices makes CNG an excellent low-cost alternative to traditional fueling,” Citizens Energy customer relationships VP Mike Strohl says in the Monarch release. “We are pleased to see Monarch Beverage taking a leadership position in the Indianapolis market.”
Monarch, founded in 1947, is Indiana’s largest distributor of beer and wine, moving some 60,000 cases of beer and wine daily from its Indianapolis distribution center to more than 7,000 retail accounts. Phil Terry is Monarch Beverage CEO.
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Source: Monarch Beverage & NGVAmerica with Fleets & Fuels follow-up