Quebec's Robert Transport Orders 180 Peterbilt LNG Trucks Powered by Westport HD Systems

Robert Transport of Boucherville Que. has placed the largest order ever for trucks powered by Westport HD natural gas engines. The new Peterbilts will go into line haul service on routes between Montreal and Quebec City, and Montreal to Toronto.

Quebec-based natural gas distributor, Gaz Metro, will develop three refueling sites along the Hwy. 401 corridor between Quebec City and Mississauga, Ontario, ensuring LNG fuel availability over range of nearly 1000 miles.

“This is the single largest order for LNG Trucks powered by Westport HD,” said David Demers, CEO of Westport Innovations. “It’s evidence that natural gas is gaining momentum as a mainstream transportation fuel in Canada. With the imperative to reduce GHG emissions from heavy-duty transport and the Quebec government’s incentives, companies like Robert Transport and Gaz Metro are helping deploy natural gas transportation solutions to help reduce emissions.”

Helping drive innovation and improve carbon footprints in Quebec, the government recently announced some significant financial incentives to stimulate acquisition of newer, cleaner trucks. Among the incentives, that depreciation rates applicable to commercial trucks or tractors would increase from 40 to 60 percent for new equipment acquired after March 31, 2010. Furthermore, an additional 85 percent cut applies to LNG-powered trucks and tractors.

The GX natural gas engine from Westport Innovations is a 95-percent pure, EPA 2007-generation, 15-liter Cummins ISX with just three modifications. Westport’s tandem diesel/natural injectors replace the standard injectors, a bolt-on fuel-conditioning module is mounted on the outside of the engine, and a high-pressure pump is used to get the raw diesel up to the same pressure as the natural gas prior to injection. It burns a mixture of 2-5 percent diesel and 95-98 percent natural gas — depending on the operating cycle — using the diesel only to ignite the gas. Installed engines will include an EGR/DPF system to control soot and particulate matter, and an SCR aftertreatment device tackles NOx to bring the engine into EPA 2010 compliance.

Natural gas produces significantly less GHG than diesel — somewhere in the 25 percent range, or about 40 fewer tonnes per truck per year, Westport claims.

“Operating natural gas trucks helps reduce one of our largest input costs and reduces our carbon footprint,” said Claude Robert, President and CEO of Robert Transport. “It’s the right thing to do and the right time to do it.”

“Peterbilt trucks with LNG systems continue to grow in popularity,” said Bill Jackson, General Manager at Peterbilt Motors. “We are excited to work with Robert Transport and Westport to deliver a high quality product that provides the performance and environmental characteristics to support their business.”

The Westport HD GX engine is certified and compliant to 2010 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission limits in North America.

For more on Transport Robert’s LNG program, see this article from the October issue of Heavy Duty Trucking magazine.

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