SOURCE: Zeus Development Corporation

Zeus Development Corporation

October 06, 2011 12:58 ET

LNG Makes Strides as Heavy Duty Fuel, Houston Conference to Examine Issues

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - Oct 6, 2011) - Houston-based energy analyst, Zeus Development Corp, finds that LNG fuel use is rapidly advancing across several heavy-duty transportation modes, including ships, locomotives, ore carriers, and highway trucks.

"The delivered price of LNG to the vessel by tank truck has been quoted as $1.05 to $1.32 per gallon," David Moseley, assistant secretary for Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division, told a recent Houston meeting. By switching to LNG, Washington State Ferries estimates that it can cut operating costs by nearly a third while also reducing its emissions. "The fuel cost savings [of LNG] is approximately 40-50% at today's pricing," Moseley said.

In China, vast numbers of highway trucks are fueling with LNG as thousands of new units are built to reduce oil imports and clean the environment. Consequently, the cost of LNG-fueled truck models has fallen to within 20% of their diesel counterparts as manufacturing volumes reach hundreds per month.

The country is also working on LNG-fueled inland marine and rail applications. In Europe, more than 20 offshore supply vessels, ferries and cargo ships are now powered with LNG.

The same may soon be true in North America as natural gas is even lower in price and the cost premiums for gas-fueled vehicles fall. While high fuel consumption marine and rail might enjoy the greatest cost savings per vehicle, LNG use with on-highway trucks is also gaining momentum.

Financier T. Boone Pickens told an audience in Dallas recently that within 10 years he expects the cost of a natural gas truck to be the same as a diesel unit. He said that the trend is already in motion, a natural gas-powered refuse hauler that cost $50,000 more than its diesel alternative a few years ago is now only about $10,000 more.

To discuss these trends and their implications, Zeus Development Corp will host the first annual World LNG Fuels Conference January 25-26, 2012, in Houston. Among the scheduled speakers are Andrew Littlefair, CEO of Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ: CLNE); Sam Thomas, CEO, Chart Industries (NASDAQ: GTLS); Michael Gallagher, senior advisor and former president, Westport Innovations (NASDAQ: WPRT); Ron Bertasi, CEO of Prometheus Energy, among others.

Speakers from China, Europe, Latin America and Australia are also slated to discuss their advancements as well.

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