CHAIN MAIL: Kenworth turns to LNG for cleaner trucks

Vancouver-based Westport is a producer of alternative engine fuel technologies that allow engines to operate on clean-burning fuels such as compressed natural gas and hydrogen.“Australia’s unique operating conditions and need for high-power outputs are a good fit for Westport’s HPDI technology and Kenworth’s leading truck models,” said PACCAR Australia managing director Joe Rizzo.“Our customers have been seeking economic greenhouse gas reductions that work productively in their operations, and Kenworth is proud to be able to offer that combination in a factory-built product in Australia.”The Westport high pressure direct injection (HPDI) engine that will be used in the trucks is based on the Cummins ISX diesel engine with cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). The LNG version of the engine is fuelled with vaporised LNG, which Westport says is a safe, cost-effective, low carbon and low emissions fuel. The Westport LNG system is certified to the latest Australian Design Rules (ADR 80/02 and ADR 30/01) in ratings up to 580 horsepower and 1850lb-ft torque. “With an abundant, low-cost domestic natural gas supply, Australia makes an excellent market for Westport’s high-performance, heavy-duty LNG engine and fuel system,” said Westport president Michael Gallagher.“Our demonstrated greenhouse gas reductions of 20 to 25 per cent relative to diesel engines, 95 per cent diesel substitution levels, and power output up to 580 horsepower are clear advantages of Westport technology. “PACCAR’s leadership in providing factory-built LNG Kenworth trucks shows their commitment to the environment and the economic concerns of their customers.”Westport believes that the use of LNG technology for Australian road transport may produce the following benefits:Reduced emissions/greenhouse gasses. The Westport LNG system provides greenhouse gas reductions of 20-25% against an equivalent diesel engine;LNG is currently a lower-cost fuel source. Diesel fuel is a major component of overall freight costs. Therefore the widespread use of LNG under current price structures could reduce the direct and indirect impact of escalating diesel fuel costs to consumers; andLNG is produced domestically from Australia’s vast reserves of natural gas.Production is to commence during the second quarter of 2009 at Kenworth’s Bayswater factory in Victoria beginning with the T908, K108 and T408SAR before being added to additional models in the future.

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