Jackson UPS Switching Fleet to Natural Gas

Natural Gas Pump Installations at Sites Slated for '14

Jackson’s UPS hub will be the latest area business to run its vehicles on natural gas instead of diesel by installing on-site liquefied natural gas pumps.
The hub on McDowell Road is one of 13 local/regional UPS centers nationwide that will install the pumps by the end of next year and replace diesel-fueled delivery trucks with vehicles that run on liquefied natural gas. Construction should start by the end of this year or early 2014 with the aim of having the pumps operational locally by next spring or summer.

“It really is about evaluating performance, the fuel costs, the maintenance costs. This is showing our commitment to LNG as a viable fuel source,” says UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg.

The parcel delivery service’s use of vehicles running on alternative fuel dates to 2002, with a handful of delivery trucks operating in southern California. The company’s alternative-fuels program, until now, has been confined to a few Western states, but UPS is investing $50 million in building nine new stations, including Jackson’s, along with four other new stations already announced.

The company estimates it will use 4,000 gallons less of fuel per day by switching to LNG and better contain potentially harmful emissions into the air while slashing fuel costs. It says it’s tough to estimate how much money in fuel and maintenance costs will be saved each year through the conversion but adds it could be significant.

The effort will bring the UPS program beyond the West. Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas are other states where UPS will build LNG stations. The company will buy 900 LNG-powered vehicles by the end of next year. UPS’ overall vehicle fleet numbers close to 14,000 vehicles, Rosenberg says.

She says the LNG expansion is basically “a rolling lab. We have to take a broader view (of fuel sources). It’s not just one size fits all.”

So some UPS vehicles will still run on diesel. Others will use LNG, compressed natural gas or a hybrid blend of fuel sources, depending on a vehicle’s daily performance and distance expectations and what fuel sources are most readily available in a certain area. Rosenberg says Mississippi and the other states were chosen for LNG stations because of their ready supply and access to natural gas and its infrastructure.

Other local businesses have turned to alternative fuels.

Waste Management’s Jackson-area headquarters is in the process of switching its full 70-plus vehicle fleet serving Hinds, Madison, Rankin and Copiah counties to operate on compressed natural gas and install CNG fuel pumps on site. UPS’ pumps are available only to company vehicles, but the Waste Management pumps will be available for public use, too.

Mississippi Materials Corp., a Jackson ready-mix materials company, recently debuted a group of CNG vehicles and fueling station. NGV Solutions operates a fueling center in Flowood.

The American Gas Association says, in terms of curbing emissions, converting one refuse truck to run on natural gas is equivalent to taking 325 petroleum-fueled vehicles off the road.

By Jeff Ayers

Mississippi Alternative Fuel School Bus and

Municipal Motor Vehicle Loan Fund

The Mississippi Alternative Fuel School Bus and Municipal Motor Vehicle Revolving Loan Fund, administered by the Mississippi Development Authority (“MDA”) is designed to assist public school districts and municipalities in paying initial costs incurred for the purchase of alternative fuel school buses and motor vehicles, the conversion of school buses and motor vehicles to utilize alternative fuels and the purchase of alternative fuel system equipment and facilities. 

For more information, click here.

 

 

Corporate Cooperation Brings CNG Vehicles to Mississippi

tank

An alternative to gasoline, CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) can lower fuel costs by as much as 50%, so it’s no wonder that CNG vehicles continue to proliferate throughout the state of Mississippi. As the state’s local source for CNG fuel and vehicle conversions, NGV Solutions, located in Flowood, is leading the charge, but they aren’t the only Mississippi company helping the state leverage its vast supply of natural gas to help save drivers cash at the pump. ABS Welding in Columbia is an exclusive supplier of CNG storage vessels to NGV Solutions.

For more than 30 years, ABS Welding has been serving the state’s gas and oil industry with their expertise in welding various types of vessels, pipelines, structures and heavy equipment. They contracted with NGV Solutions in 2011 to bring their expertise to CNG storage. Their product is manufactured locally, meets all the mandatory codes and specifications—and is rated for a life cycle of no less than 100 years.

“Our relationship with ABS Welding has been a key factor in our success,” said Forrest Berry, President of NGV Solutions. “Without their expertise, it would have been difficult to open our first CNG fueling facility here in Flowood. Our relationship is just one example of the many ways in which Mississippi’s fuel economy can be more self sufficient as CNG becomes the fuel of choice in the future.”

An additional benefit of the Mississippi companies working together is their proximity. Being less than 100 miles apart makes delivery quick and keeps fuel costs to a minimum—especially when delivery is conducted by way of vehicles powered by, you guessed it, Compressed Natural Gas.

Gov. Bryant Cuts Ribbon on NGV Solutions New

Fast-Fill Station

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FLOWOOD, Miss. – With the number of openings expected to grow exponentially nationwide over the next two years, state and local officials gathered Wednesday to cut the ribbon on the state’s first compressed natural gas fueling station.

In operation since January of 2012, NGV Solutions fueling facility has been serving the small but growing number of natural gas vehicles (NGV) in the metro area.

“We’ve lead the charge in Mississippi to bring compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles to the marketplace,” said Forrest Berry, president of NGV Solutions and Laurel Fuel Company. “With the abundance of natural gas here in our state, CNG fueling systems offer the best solution to rein in out of control gasoline and diesel fuel costs.”

Recently, Waste Management and Mississippi Materials Inc. both introduced respective NGV fleets to Mississippi.

Wednesday, the mayors of Flowood, Pontotoc and Quitman announced their municipalities move to natural gas vehicles. Flowood will fund a pilot project to convert city vehicles to CNG. Pontotoc will add five CNG vehicles to the city’s fleet and Quitman will purchase a CNG garbage truck and possibly police cars utilizing a 0% loan fund passed by Mississippi Legislature this year. The loan fund legislation is part of Governor Phil Bryant’s “Energy Works” agenda.

“More natural gas flows through Mississippi than any other state, positioning us as a hub for natural gas development.” Gov. Bryant said. “Mississippians can benefit from savings and additional jobs generated by increased energy investment, and I am very pleased to welcome NGV Solutions’ addition to the state’s growing energy economy.”

NGV Solutions was established in 2011 to be Mississippi’s source for natural gas vehicles, conversions and fueling. The company offers full conversion services through its Lakeland Drive service center, and filling solutions for behind-the-fence fleet service, residential and public fast-fill use.

Some 12,000 natural gas vehicle (NGV) refueling stations will be opened across the country between 2013 and 2015, according to a new report from Navigant Research. With the cost of natural gas reaching historic lows in many regions, the report says interest in NGVs is growing. The growth of the NGV market is inherently tied to the abundance of the fuel. At the NGV Solutions filling facility, CNG currently sells for $1.99 per gallon equivalent.

Ford Joins NGV Solutions on the CNG Bandwagon

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Ford Motor Company, manufacturer of the popular F-150 pickup, recently announced that its 2014 F-150 models will feature options to include CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) as a primary or secondary fuel source. Customers in the market for the new truck may choose the Bi-fuel Option, which enables their pickup to operate on both CNG and conventional gasoline; or the Dedicated Option, which foregoes the use of gasoline altogether in favor of cheaper, cleaner and more fuel efficient CNG. It’s estimated that both options will cost a little over $300 and will be available on F-150 models with a 3.6 liter V6 engine. The technology for the conversion kits will be provided by Altech-Eco Corporation, a North Carolina company specializing in the research, development and deployment of alternative fuel technologies for vehicular use.

Ford’s announcement is of particular interest to NGV Solutions, located in Flowood, Mississippi. Since 2011, the company has been a state leader in increasing awareness of the viability of CNG as a fuel source, as both a provider of the fuel and a qualified service provider for CNG vehicle conversions. In fact, the company is uniquely qualified in to conduct the CNG conversions for Ford’s new F-150s. NGV solutions working with Altech-Eco, a QVM  (Qualified Vehicle Modifier) is one of the only companies in Mississippi authorized to convert the new Ford trucks to either Bi-fuel or Dedicated CNG fuel systems while still retaining their manufacturer’s warranties.

“I’m personally gratified to see Ford adopt our fuel source as an option for their consumers,” said Forrest Berry, President of NGV Solutions. “We began educating Mississippi about the economic and environmental benefits of CNG just two years ago. Now one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world is validating our hard work. That shows me that we’ve been on the right track all along.”

Reportedly, CNG conversion kits will also be available for Ford’s F-250 and F-350 models.

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