PS: "Who are the suckers?"
May want to refresh on the LNG Call by Bruce Ferguson (CCSE) made over a year ago:
Willow Run Foods dumps diesel in favor of natural gas trucks
5:56 PM, Oct 5, 2013 |
Benjamin Scott, of Willow Run Foods, soon won't be doing this anymore. He's filling up a company truck with diesel fuel, which the company is dropping in favor of Compressed Natural Gas. Soon, the fill-ups will be from a temporary CNG facility and later at a permanent one. / WILLOW RUN FOODS PHOTO
In a move to save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and downsize its diesel-powered fleet, the food distribution company has invested in 15 CNG heavy-duty trucks.
Willow Run Foods will receive its first CNG truck on Oct. 14, with the remaining 14 vehicles arriving by the end of the month. The trucks will be mostly used in New York City, Long Island and New Jersey, helping in areas saturated with traffic and pollution.
"We are very excited to be leading the trucking industry by being the first company to use CNG trucks for regional deliveries in the Northeast, and so are our customers," Terry Wood, president and CEO of Willow Run Foods, said in a statement.
The company's alternative transportation project received a $1 million NYSERDA award provided in round two of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's regional council initiative. That money is being used to cover about 70 percent of the additional cost for the CNG trucks and also for upgrades to Willow Run's on-site maintenance facility to meet the specifications required to service the new vehicles.Willow Run is leasing the CNG trucks through Ryder System Inc., a Miami, Fla.-based provider of transportation and supply chain management products, including fleets of rental trucks. Ryder also operates Willow Run's maintenance facility.
Still, each CNG truck costs $234,000, approximately $80,000 more than a typical diesel truck. For the 15 CNG trucks, that's a difference of $1.2 million.
Of the $1 million from NYSERDA, $855,000 is allocated for the additional cost of the CNG trucks, while the remaining $145,000 is going toward installing additional venting, fans and gas sensors in Willow Run's maintenance facility to accommodate the new vehicles.
Even with the up-front costs, Willow Run estimates it will save $100,000 annually because of a reduction of 175,000 gallons of diesel fuel consumption.
The current price for a gallon of diesel in the Binghamton region is $4.06, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Meanwhile, CNG runs between $1.99 and $2.73 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) in New York and northern Pennsylvania, according to CNGPrices.com.
But Willow Run needs a CNG fueling station nearby.
For the first six months, the company will have a temporary on-site CNG fueling station, which entails bringing in a compressor to hook up to natural gas tanks to fill up the 15 trucks. But that isn't the long-term solution.
Trillium CNG, a nationwide provider of CNG fueling services, is in the process of getting approval for a fueling station on Barlow Road — about a half-mile from Willow Run's facility.
Joe Rende, regional director of business development at Trillium CNG, said the project needs approval from the Town of Kirkwood Planning Board, which will meet Oct. 22 to decide on the issue. If the board approves the project, Rende said Trillium CNG expects to get a building permit soon after.While there's no official target date yet, Rende said the fueling station could open by the end of March.
Willow Run's 15 CNG trucks will be equipped with three tanks capable of holding the equivalent of 150 gallons of diesel. By comparison, the company's diesel trucks can hold a total of 200 gallons.
Right now, Willow Run has 90 diesel trucks. But once the new trucks arrive, the company will downsize to 75 diesel trucks and add 15 CNG vehicles to remain at 90 total.
And while Willow Run expects the CNG trucks to get lower gas mileage than the diesels — 5.5 miles per gallon versus 6 miles per gallon for the diesel trucks — the company will be making more environmentally friendly trips to New York City, Long Island and New Jersey."It's a cleaner trip," said James Donovan, vice president of finance for Willow Run Foods. "The fact that we can do it all on one fill-up is very important because our drivers go out and they have set windows when they can deliver to each store, so it's very important that they hit those every time they go out."
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)