Dairy Customer ‘Wanted Us To Expand Our Natural Gas Presence,’
Shell Says It Will Continue to Offer LNG in Calgary and Edmonton
British Columbia’s Vedder Transport has augmented its fleet of 50 liquefied natural gas-fueled trucks with 15 additional vehicles acquired from Bison Transport, of Alberta. updated August 12
“One of our large dairy clients offered us an opportunity to expand our business and one of the requirements was, they really wanted us to expand our natural gas presence within that footprint,” Vedder president Fred Zweep said in a recent interview. The result was the purchase of Bison’s 15 LNG-fueled Peterbilt tractors, he told F&F.
All of the vehicles are powered by the 15-liter Cummins ISX engines modified for LNG operation with the now discontinued HPDI system from Westport. Because of higher weight limits in Canada, operators there prefer the 15-liter engine to the 11.9-liter dedicated-natural gas Cummins Westport ISX12 G proving popular in the U.S.
“The technology is bulletproof,” Zweep said in the interview: “The engine has been robust, the technology related to the LNG has been robust and any of the maintenance issues we’ve seen are typical wear and tear issues related to the terrain we’re going up and over.”
Bison had been a prominent customer for LNG offered by Shell LNG in Alberta. The firm touted one million LNG miles after a year of service at the end of 2013, noting that it had a five-year fueling agreement with Shell Canada. Bison currently operates some 1,600 diesel-fueled tractors, a spokesman told F&F, referring to the 15 LNG vehicles as a “test fleet.”
Shell Continues to Expand in the U.S.
“Shell hasn’t changed its plans,” says a Shell Canada source, who notes that Shell has provided LNG fuel at Calgary for about two and a half years, and that its permanent facility in Edmonton, where LNG has been provided via a mobile fueler, is opening in the coming week.
“Obviously,” he told F&F, “we aren’t going to be building more sites until there’s more trucks available on the market.”
He notes however that Shell and partner TravelCenters of America continue to open LNG fueling lanes in the U.S. (F&F, June 5).
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Source: Published report with Fleets & Fuels follow-up