Indiana’s largest beer and wine distributor has commenced an environmentally friendly project that will see 85 percent of its heavy duty truck fleet convert to Cummins Westport engines fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG). The Monarch Beverage Company is partnering with Cummins and several other companies on the project, which will include an on-site CNG fueling station to be completed by March, 2013.
“As a family-owned Hoosier company, we are excited to partner with such innovative companies to strengthen the presence of compressed natural gas powered vehicles in Indiana,” said Phil Terry, CEO at Monarch Beverage. “The conversion and fueling station enable us to take advantage of an abundant, cleaner, domestic fuel.”
The decision puts Monarch on the leading edge of the movement in the United States toward truck fleets fueled by compressed natural gas. The natural gas option is especially attractive to regional companies whose trucks return home at the end of the work day where they can be refueled.
Monarch serves parts of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky. It expects to have 100 trucks fueled by natural gas, reducing its consumption of diesel fuel by 800,000 gallons annually and its fuel expense by more than 60 percent.
“This partnership demonstrates our commitment to the communities we serve and our commitment to creating a cleaner, healthier and safer environment,” said Jim Arthurs, President, Cummins Westport, Inc. “Cummins Westport is a leader in natural gas engines and we are thrilled to offer this technology to another great business here in Central Indiana.”
Monarch estimates the transition to natural gas engines will reduce the C02 emitted into the atmosphere by 1,500 tons per year.
“Monarch’s fleet already operates 27 Kenworth T440 natural gas vehicles and is looking to add a significant number of Kenworth T800s equipped with the new Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine in 2013,” said Andy Douglas, national sales manager for specialty markets at the Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, Wash. “For the past year, Monarch Beverage has tested this new engine in a Kenworth T660 and provided useful feedback to Kenworth and Cummins regarding its capabilities.”
Monarch says the compressed natural gas project is expected to require an investment of about $7.6 million.