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Shell announces LNG for heavy-duty trucks

CALGARY -- Shell says it will be providing liquefied natural gas (LNG) for heavy-duty fleets beginning in 2012 at Shell Flying J truck stops, starting in Alberta.

Shell is in the process of getting engineering and regulatory permits to process LNG at its Jumping Pound facility in Alberta's foothills by 2013.

Until that facility is up and running, Shell Flying J truck stops will be get their LNG supply from a third-party distributor.

Shell is also actively developing new business opportunities with truck OEMs to substitute LNG for diesel and propane in a number of industrial sectors, including on-road trucking and oil and gas drilling applications.

The company will also launch a co-marketing program in North America with LNG engine maker Westport Innovations of Vancouver.

Marvin Odum, president of Shell, said that the initiative will give larger fleet vehicles a reduction in emissions and offer a cost-competitive alternative to other fuels.

However, a report by the Globe and Mail on the same story points to the cost of installing an LNG engine is about $50,000 to $60,000 on top of the cost of the truck itself.

Plus, there's the length of time for payback on the engine, coupled with the lack of tax benefits or incentives for fleets that move to LNG engines.  

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