Ontario Natural Gas Alliance Logo

The Blog

  1. Categories: Business

    Cold Weather. Hot Results.

    The federal government’s recent report, Evaluation of the Winter Performance of Compressed Natural Gas Refuse Trucks, has confirmed what this blog has believed all along: natural gas trucks perform well, in even the harshest Canadian cold-weather conditions.

    Demonstrating the practical applications of natural gas, while also instituting new heavy vehicle emission standards for heavy vehicles, is a priority for Transport Canada. That’s why they documented and studied the cold-weather operation of a compressed natural gas refuse truck fleet – 18 Peterbilt trucks with Cummins Westport 8.9 litre engines, in all – owned and operated by EBI (a Berthierville, Quebec-based company). The study also tracked a 58-vehicle CNG fleet of refuse trucks operating in Winnipeg by Emterra Environmental.

    The real-world experience of one of Canada’s first heavy natural gas fleets was documented. EBI has been operating the trucks for over two years, at winter temperatures as low as -16ºC. The report found that CNG trucks operate well, with no issues in cold weather, provided normal winter aids are used and the vehicle’s design is suitable for cold weather. In fact, they were so suitable that EBI has since gone on to purchase another 32 natural gas trucks for their performance, emissions benefits, and their fuel savings over diesel.

    EBI’s president Pierre Sylvestre, put it this way: “Natural gas is a great option that offers fuel savings from day one. We’re proud of our natural gas fleet. We’re also investing in a network of public stations to bring CNG to the broader Quebec market.”

    “More private-sector investments like EBI’s should be encouraged as they accelerate the transition to lower emission vehicle use in Canada,” says Alicia Milner, President of the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance.

    Do you feel natural gas holds the key to a cleaner, more affordable and reliable future for heavy transport? Let us know in the comments section provided below.

    Source: Natural gas trucks cold weather performance,” 11/15/13, Canadian Newswire Group

  2. Categories: Business

    Quebec Moves Forward

    On November 1st Quebec recognized natural gas as the future of the transportation business. The provincial government announced a program to subsidize up to 30 per cent of the cost premium of natural gas trucks for the freight transport and heavy vehicle industries.

    The rebate covers the additional costs involved in outfitting vehicles to operate on natural gas. Gaz Metro applauds the move – they operate a number of natural gas refueling stations across Quebec.

    Sophie Brochu, president and CEO of Gaz Metro, said the measures announced “are important, because they will help speed up the use of natural gas as fuel, resulting in an immediate reduction of up to 25 per cent in GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.”

    Overall, the transportation sector contributes 42.5 per cent of all GHG produced in the province and trucks. Freight trains and ships account for almost a third of that. Natural gas use, across these industries, could create a significant reduction in this amount. Plus, it can do it all while saving their owners up to 40 per cent at the pump.

    Robert Transport and EBI, Quebec’s highest profile users of natural gas trucks, are already appreciating the cost savings. However, natural gas could make even greater strides for use in ships and locomotives.

    But clean, affordable and reliable natural gas already contributes greatly to our everyday lives. Ontario benefits from this reality every day. As in Quebec, it’s this province’s turn to create programs like these, to ensure a better future.

    Should government have a role in implementing better energy alternatives? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section provided below.


  3. Categories: Environment
    Natural gas use up, US emissions down

    Natural gas use up, U.S. emissions down

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently reported their findings that greenhouse gas emissions have fallen 10 per cent from 2010 to 2012, as power generators make the switch from coal to natural gas. The Energy Information Administration, part of the Department of Energy, said U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have fallen to their lowest level since 1994 — great news for we Ontarians, who get exposed to air pollution from our neighbours to the south.

    Their study collected emissions data from over 8,000 of the largest polluters in their nation. Of the thousands of facilities studied, fossil fuel power plants were the largest source of emissions – at roughly 40 per cent. The most polluting plant, located in Georgia, emitted 21.8 million tons of CO2 equivalent. Other such plants were found in Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. They will be the main objective targeted by Washington’s proposed plan to regulate emissions by June of next year. (Ironically, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania have Marcellus Shale gas deposits right under their feet.)

    This comes hot on the heels of the World Health Organization’s cancer agency classifying the very air we breathe as cancer causing. This is the first time experts have made such a classification.

    Data indicates that 223,000 deaths worldwide were due to air pollution and particulate matter. From now on, these pollutants will be classified as Group 1 human carcinogens, alongside asbestos, plutonium, silica dust, ultraviolet radiation and tobacco smoke.

    Obviously, clean, affordable and reliable natural gas can and should be part of the greater plan to move towards a cleaner world.

    Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section provided below.