Wettenhalls Group, an Australian transport, warehouse and logistics company, has commissioned its first LNG heavy transport vehicle – a Kenworth K108 B-Double. The Kenworth is powered by the latest Westport High Pressure Direct Injection GX 15 litre engine, which produces around 25 per cent less CO2 emissions than the equivalent diesel-powered Cummins ISX-EGR engine with no loss of performance. EVOL LNG,a Kleenheat Gas brand, has played a significant role in the adoption of LNG technology by Wettenhalls and provides refuelling facilities at its LNG station at Deer Park in Melbourne. EVOL has also assisted the company with operator and workshop training, technical support and company and driver information sessions.
The LNG-powered addition to Wettenhalls’ fleet is operating between Victoria’s Western Districts and Melbourne, covering approximately 1200 kilometres per day. The vehicle will be used exclusively to carry the produce of dairy food giant, Fonterra.
According to Wettenhalls’ General Manager – Business Development, Chris Garschagen, the decision to trial LNG technology was primarily driven by the company’s desire to reduce the environmental impact of its fleet. ”Our new LNG vehicle is a highly visible display of our determination to reduce carbon emissions; this is a goal that is important to both the Wettenhalls Group and our customer Fonterra,” Mr Garschagen said.
Wettenhalls Group Operational Development Manager, Steve Biggs, said that extensive research was conducted prior to opting for a natural gas-powered truck. ”This is our first major investment in reducing the carbon emissions from our vehicle fleet,” Mr Biggs said. ”Understandably with an investment of this size, we did a great deal of analysis of the various technologies available, and certainly the LNG Westport engine was considered more advanced than other technologies in terms of both emissions and fuel usage”, he added.
Depending on the expansion of refuelling facilities and the success of the initial vehicle, Wettenhalls envisage that up to 60 LNG-powered trucks could be on the group’s fleet within 10 years, providing a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.