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North American rail operators talk LNG

LNG Industry,

North American rail operators are becoming increasingly interested in the use of low cost liquefied natural gas (LNG) as locomotive fuel. In January 2014 at the 4th Annual World LNG Fuels Conference, two of America’s largest railroad companies – CSX Transportation and Canadian National Railway - will offer their insights into LNG and its future in the rail industry.

"Thanks to locomotives' high fuel consumption and utilisation rate, LNG has emerged as a very promising fuel for the rail industry," explained Siyu Chen, LNG fuel analyst at Zeus Development Corporation. "While a lot of questions remain about conversion cost, operational and regulatory challenges, there's still a tremendous amount of excitement in the industry."

LNG currently costs at least a dollar less than diesel on an energy equivalent basis, and has resulted in both users and sellers moving towards the fuel as a cheaper and cleaner alternative. Canadian National Railway has already launched a pilot project in Alberta, while Burlington Northern Santa Fe plans to begin its own project by the end of 2013. Major manufacturers Caterpillar and GE have announced their own LNG-fuelled locomotive models.

To discuss the future of LNG in rail operations, World LNG Fuels 2014 will feature senior representatives from the top class of rail operators. CSX Transportation Vice President of Strategic Infrastructure, Louis Renjel, will discuss his company’s perspectives and plans for LNG. Canadian National Railway Senior Vice President (retired), Sameh Fahmy, will also offer insights into his company’s experience with LNG, as well as its future as a locomotive fuel.

The conference runs from 21-23 January 2014, and will take place at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Centre.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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