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Cummins Expands Natural-Gas Engine Line-up

COLUMBUS, IN. — Cummins has expanded its on-highway natural gas engine lineup with the Cummins Westport ISX12 G, aimed at heavy-duty vocational and regional-haul markets, but it won't be on the street until early 2013.

The company has also inked an amended joint-venture agreement with Vancouver's Westport Innovations.

The ISX12 G is built on the Cummins ISX12 and uses the same base engine and key components as its diesel counterpart. It features Cummins Westport's proprietary spark-ignited combustion technology with stoichiometric cooled exhaust gas recirculation, first introduced on the 8.9-litre ISL G.

The new engine has three-way catalyst aftertreatment, packaged as a muffler, and it's maintenance-free. Preliminary specs include ratings up to 400 hp and 1450 lb ft of torque, with an optional engine brake. The engine will run on either compressed or liquefied natural gas.

The ISX12 G is expected to be certified at launch to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emissions standards of 0.20 grams per brake-horsepower/hour oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and 0.01 grams per brake-horsepower/hour particulate matter (PM). The engine should meet Euro VI and pending U.S. greenhouse gas and fuel-efficiency regulations.

The ISX12 G is the first heavy-duty spark-ignited natural gas engine available in the North American market, Cummins notes, and is entering the final stages of field-testing now. The engine will be made at the company's plant in Jamestown, N.Y.

Partial funding in support of the ISX12 G engine development has been received from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the California Energy Commission in conjunction with the Gas Technology Institute. Additional terms and conditions of the Westport joint-venture agreement have not disclosed.

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