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Blu Bides Time, Invests in Upgrades

January 27, 2015 in Companies, Infrastructure, LNG, NGVs, Technology by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

New President Has Measured Strategy, Better LNG Tanks
And Technology to Deal with Boiloff at Fueling Stations,
Firm Is Looking Ahead to High Horsepower Markets Too

Salt Lake City-based Blu LNG has a new president in the person of Shell veteran James Burns, who has taken the helm with a mandate to “lead Blu’s day-to-day operations and strategic direction with a specific focus on maximizing the company’s recent innovations and working to expand its reach in domestic LNG use.”

Westport iCE Packs for Potelco Trucks

December 2, 2014 in Fleet Order, LNG, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Power Line Maintenance & Construction Outfit Has 42 Freightliner M2s

Westport is talking up Potelco’s use of 42 Freightliner trucks fueled by liquefied natural gas stored in iCE Pack brand LNG tanks. Potelco, a power line maintenance and construction company based in Sumner, Wash., is one of the state’s largest fleets, Westport notes, with more than 3,000 vehicles.

Blu Insists on LNG’s Long-Term Promise

February 1, 2014 in Infrastructure, LNG by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Current Layoffs a ‘Bump in the Road’ Engendered by Engine Availability,
But LNG Trucks to Reach Cost Parity with Diesel in Three Years, Says CEO

“We are more certain than ever that LNG will be the dominant alternative fuel,” says Blu CEO Merritt Norton, who acknowledges that the Utah-based company has tempered its ambitious plans for liquefied natural gas fueling, primarily in the U.S. West.

Blu has a network of approximately 25 stations now, which will grow to 40 or 50 by year-end, with mobile equipment at some locations, Norton said.

Blu LNG station in Myton, Utah

Blu LNG station in Myton, Utah

Six months ago, he acknowledges, he would have predicted a Blu network of 150 to 200 stations by the end of 2014.

Norton also confirms that Blu has laid off about 40 people, and now counts approximately 170 employees.

Fewer Engines, Fewer Trucks, Less Demand for Fuel

“This is a bump in the road,” Norton says of the current situation, noting that loss of the 15-liter LNG-only HPDI engine from Westport and the delay (at least six months; F&F, January 7) on the Cummins 15-liter spark engine have hurt the business.

“We’ve built more stations than anyone except Clean Energy,” Norton told F&F. Clean Energy Fuels has similarly throttled back, affirming that its “America’s Natural Gas Hughway” network of 150 stations planned for the end of 2013 will now not be completed until the end of this year (F&F, December 28).

Like Blu, Clean Energy now has about two dozen ANGH stations open.

Like Clean Energy, Blu insists on the long-term predominance of LNG, rather than CNG, for long-haul trucking. LNG trucks can be fueled faster than compressed natural gas trucks, Norton notes, and in future, he says, will fuel even faster than diesels. More fuel can be carried on the truck, he says, with less weight and less cost, while advances in LNG station design will make venting “a thing of the past.”

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Source: Fleets & Fuels interview

LNG Trucks Via Blu and PacLease

June 11, 2013 in LNG by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Four Rental Kenworth T800 Models Along the I-84 and I-15 Corridors

Bidding to tempt fleet managers who are wary of the up-front costs associated with LNG trucking, Paccar’s PacLease and Kenworth Sales units, and Utah’s Blu LNG are offering LNG-fueled Kenworth T800 trucks for rent along the Interstate 84 and I-15 corridors from Las Vegas through Utah, Idaho, and eastern Oregon.

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