Plans for 13 Stations Supporting 1,000 Trucks by End 2014
As GP Strategies Trumpets Contract to Design & Build Them
UPS has greatly elaborated on its plans for liquefied natural gas trucks announced at ACT Expo 2013 in Washington, D.C. this past June, pledging an investment of some $50 million to build nine more LNG fueling stations for a total of 13, all to be operational by the end of 2014. “The enhanced LNG fueling infrastructure will support the operation of approximately 1,000 UPS LNG tractors that will displace more than 24 million gallons of diesel fuel annually,” UPS says.
“A large portion” of the new trucks will be from Mack Trucks with the 11.9-liter, spark-ignition ISX12 G engine from Cummins Westport, says a UPS source.
GP Strategies Corp (NYSE:GPX) followed the LNG announcement from UPS with word that it would build the 13 new fueling stations, stating that each will include three or more 18,000-gallon LNG storage vessels and two or more dispensers allowing them to support more than 100 trucks daily.
‘Insulated from Market Volatilities’
“The natural gas industry needs companies to commit to using natural gas to help establish a reliable alternative to traditional fuel, and that is just what UPS is doing,” UPS chief operating officer David Abney said in a release. “The UPS strategy is both environmentally friendly and economically viable. LNG is becoming more readily available, plus it’s more insulated from market volatilities than diesel fuel.”
The UPS fueling infrastructure expansion will include onsite LNG fueling stations in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Construction is already underway at previously announced UPS facilities in Tennessee and Texas. UPS operates LNG tractors in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Beaver and Salt Lake City in Utah, and, Ontario, Calif.
“Building these fueling stations is a solid future investment for UPS,” said Abney. “Since vehicles represent approximately 35% of UPS’s carbon footprint, a cornerstone of the company’s environmental strategy is to support the development and use of lower-emission alternative fuels. By 2017, our goal is to reach one billion miles driven by our alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. To accomplish this goal the company must continue to innovate and help pave the way toward more sustainable transportation solutions.”
Stations to Be Built for Growth
The GP designs for UPS include expansion capabilities to allow for additional LNG storage vessels and LNG dispensers to meet UPS’s demand for its growing LNG fleet, GP said.
UPS notes that it operates one of the largest private alternative fuel and advanced technology fleets in the industry with more than 2,700 vehicles. In addition to LNG trucks, the UPS alt fuel line-up includes all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, CNG, biomethane, and propane (LPG/autogas).
UPS began using LNG tractors in its delivery fleet in 2002.
‘Rolling Laboratory’ Approach
The latest LNG announcement from UPS further states, “The company takes a ‘rolling laboratory’ approach, which means it’s always testing different technologies to find the best sources of energy for its vehicles.
“UPS recently began a pilot program testing propane vehicles in Gainesville, Ga., and over the past year has deployed 20 biomethane vehicles in the United Kingdom. UPS also currently operates approximately 1,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and will begin a pilot program testing CNG tractors in early 2014 as it continues to look toward natural gas as a substitute for conventional fuel.
“Between 2000 and the end of 2012, the UPS alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet logged 295 million miles,” UPS says. “In 2012, the growing fleet drove 49 million miles, a 43% increase compared to 2011.”
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Source: UPS and GP Strategies with Fleets & Fuels follow-up