The first tests of a 2011 model VW 17-250 truck powered by a compressed natural gas (CNG) ESI 96 Turbo intercooler engine have produced excellent economic and environmental results in its first six months of testing by Argentinian logistics company Andesmar Cargas S.A. Regional gas supplier Empresa de Servicios de Ingeniería en Gas (ESIGAS Argentina), described savings in fuel costs of 50% compared to a diesel unit, a reduced carbon footprint of 30 tons of CO2, and reductions of up to 90% of major pollutants and 60% in noise emitted by the engine.
Engine maintenance is also reduced. Spark plugs are scheduled for change at 100,000 kms, the distance covered in testing, but the vehicle continues to operate with its original assembly. Oil and filter changes are scheduled for every 25,000 kms, including the air filter.
Mauritius Badaloni, Andesmar Cargas, described some of the benefit of natural gas fuel: “It benefits everyone because it is cheaper and the current supply structure has more than 1900 service stations across the country. Armed with the news of the 500 years of reserves of unconventional natural gas, this would be the great transformation we are waiting.”
“The [environmental] advantages are clear, very low sound and vibration pollution. Greatly reduced CO2 emissions, no traces of lead and heavy metals; does not emit particulate matter and SO2, NOX emissions and CO greatly reduced. This is in full compliance with the environmental policy of our company. While all this input is accomplished with the knowledge and experience of ESIGAS, we can clearly see that customers are also concerned about these environmental issues, allowing us to enter from a different approach to new customers,” Badaloni added.
Mendoza-based Andesmar Cargas has declared its intention to add more CNG-powered trucks to its fleet, and looks forward with confidence to testing engine performance across more demanding routes.
Andesmar Cargas and project partner ESIGAS took part in the inaugural “Blue Corridor” event of the V ExpoGNC Buenos Aires 2011, covering 1500 kms from Mendoza to Buenos Aires.
(This article primarily compiled using information from an ESIGAS press release)