Cites Potential Market for 1.5 Million Spark-Ignition Upfits
Omnitek Engineering has reported U.S. EPA approval of its diesel-to-natural gas conversion technology for Navistar DT466E and DT530E engines “under specific and rigorous criteria related to the agency’s Outside Useful Life definition.” The OUL approval is for spark-ignition, 100% dedicated natural gas engine conversions.
The federal agency nod allows Omnitek (OTCBB:OMTK) to tackle an estimated market of 1.5 million potential conversions – Navistar produced the two engines in 130 different configurations from 1996 through 2003, Omnitek says.
More approvals are expected to follow, including later-model Navistar engines, and Mack and Mercedes products. “There’s many many more to come,” says Ed Agostinelli of Omnitek partner Seraph Energy in State College, Pa. (F&F, June 27).
Industry sources estimate that the total number of heavy-duty diesel trucks in the U.S. “exceeds eight million and the large majority of these trucks could benefit from Omnitek’s patented technology,” states a release.
‘We Anticipate Tremendous Domestic Demand’
“Approval of our technology by the EPA represents a significant milestone for the company and we anticipate tremendous domestic demand to convert diesel truck and bus engines to operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG) or renewable biogas,” Omnitek president and CEO Werner Funk said in his company’s announcement.
Funk said that Omnitek’s technology has been used outside the U.S. since 2001, with more than 5,000 engine conversions currently in operation.
“During the 20-year life span of diesel engines, routine overhauls are required and service budgets established in advance,” he said. “By converting these diesel engines to operate on natural gas during a routine engine overhaul, truck operators can realize a significant return on investment, with much lower fuel costs and cleaner combustion.”
Omnitek conversions are cheaper than new engines, he said, noting that new natural gas engines are in short supply.
New and Larger Premises Too
“We are continuing to focus on appointing dealers and authorized installers to support anticipated demand for conversions, and look forward to significant domestic growth from the build-out of our domestic conversion centers across the United States,” Funk said.
“We’ve got hundreds of inquiries for thousands of trucks,” Agostinelli told F&F.
Separately, Omnitek said it’s signed a new lease for a facility near its current San Marcos, Calif. location “that more than doubles its size to approximately 25,000 square feet – an initiative intended to support the anticipated strong domestic demand for diesel-to-natural gas engine conversions, as well as continued international market growth.”
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Source: Omnitek with Fleets & Fuels follow-up