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Dillon Transport Adds Another Fueling Link With Clean Energy

Illinois-based Dillon Transport, a trucking fleet serving the oil, chemical and asphalt industries among others, helped open its seventh natural gas fueling facility Thursday as a Clean Energy Fuels Corp.-designed and built station was unveiled in Houston.

This is Newport Beach, CA-based Clean Energy's 65th facility among public-access and various private NGV fueling stations, facilities and equipment in Texas, and one of more than 550 public-access and private installations the company now has spread throughout Canada and the United States. Nearly half (31) of the Texas facilities are public access natural gas vehicle (NGV) fueling locations.

Clean Energy's facilities were opened within an existing Valero station on Wallisville Road in Houston as a fast-fill compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling location, open to the general public on a 24/7 basis. Along with Dillon, fleet operators such as JRayl Transport and Silver Eagle Distributors will use the CNG fueling facilities.

According to Clean Energy, the fueling needs of more than 100 heavy-duty trucks, in addition to a variety of NGVs, will be served at the facility.

With 600 Peterbilt trucks and 850 trailers, Dillon has 18 terminals in 11 states in the Midwest, South, Texas and Colorado, including seven NGV stations in six of the states. Houston now provides its eighth NGV fueling location. More than half of the fleet's annual fuel consumption is natural gas, Dillon said.

Elsewhere, another Southern California-based firm, Omnitek Engineering, has established an authorized diesel-to-NGV engine conversion center in Canada, naming Hiller Truck Tech of Ayr, ON, to that role. It will address what Omnitek described as "increasing demand" for NGV heavy-duty engines in Canada.

Omnitek CEO Werner Funk said Hiller Truck is well-positioned for the role from both a technical and capacity standpoint to help accelerate conversions in Canada. "Our EPA-approved diesel-to-natural gas engine conversion technology offers fleet operators meaningful economic and environmental benefits," Funk said.

Funk called it a "compelling economic proposition" for fleet operators to convert diesel engines to natural gas during normal engine overhaul cycles of an engine with a 20-year service life.

Westport Innovations' newly merged Westport Fuel Systems is providing the CNG-gasoline bi-fuel version of Volvo's V90 station wagon, which is based on the gaseous fuel engine technology it provided for Volvo's V60 sports wagon.

The V90 can run on either CNG and/or renewable natural gas (RNG)/biomethane, or gasoline. The vehicle will sport a high-performance 254-hp engine, according to Westport.

Westport Fuels System is the new name for the recently merged Westport Innovations and FSSI/Fuel Systems Solutions Inc. (see Daily GPISept. 2, 2015).

In the RNG/biomethane area, another firm announced it intention to move into part of that emerging market. Connecticut-based Verdek, a distributor of NGV fueling equipment manufactured by Argentina's Galileo, said it intends to increase its involvement in processing biogas into pipeline-quality or vehicle-grade biomethane or RNG.

The biogas will be obtained from anaerobic digesters that process both municipal and agricultural waste, according to Verdek CEO Guy Mannino. The end-product can either be put in a pipeline or trucked as CNG to customers, he said.

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