Shell Canada and Caterpillar have signed an agreement to test a new engine and fuel mix using liquefied natural gas (LNG). The new cleaner fuel mix could reduce operating costs and lead to reduced emissions from oil sands mining in northern Alberta.
Caterpillar will continue development work to design and build a fully integrated mining truck in which LNG is used as the primary fuel instead of diesel, in a dual fuel engine. Under the agreement, Caterpillar will test the design at Shell’s oil sands operations located near Fort McMurray.
Shell will also retrofit existing trucks from its fleet with the new dual fuel engine, as well as provide fuelling infrastructure at is Albian Sands operation. The trial follows a trend for Shell in looking at its option to use Canada’s abundant natural gas as a fuel in marine and road transport and other industrial sectors.
“To succeed commercially in the future, we believe we have to be able to compete both economically and environmentally. We believe that is what Canadians want,” commented vice president of Shell, Oil Sands, John Rhind. “With heavy hauling being such a core part of our operation, success with this could make a real difference in our operations costs and emissions.”
“We are excited to collaborate with Shell on this latest initiative to power Cat® mining trucks with Caterpillar’s LNG technology. Many of our customers are asking for natural gas powered equipment in order to reap the financial and environmental benefits. This agreement further builds upon our efforts in delivering cost effective, reliable and innovative solutions to our customers,” said Chris Curfman, Caterpillar vice president responsible for mining sales and support.
Field testing of dual fuel powered mining trucks at Shell’s oil sands operations is expected to begin in 2016, with the trial expected to last up to one year.
Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/small-scale-lng/17122013/companies_test_lng_trucks_579/