NGV Global 2014 Conference and Exhibition has concluded as a resounding success for our organisation, contributing to our goals of promoting and enhancing opportunities for participation in the exciting and important industry of natural gas transportation. The event culminated in a Gala Dinner where NGV champions from around the world were recognised – people and organisations who by their actions and endeavours have promoted and inspired the development of a significant NGV program or activity. This biennial event, held this year aboard the historic Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach, California, has paid tribute to some remarkable and sometimes colourful achievers over past years and 2014 is no different.
To qualify for this award, nominees will have significantly advanced the use of natural gas as a vehicular fuel; brought about an increased presence of natural gas vehicles; generated positive outcomes with far-reaching consequences; or displayed exceptional political and/or commercial enterprise. NGV Global emphasizes its position as the industry’s peak international body by considering and allocating awards from a global rather than regional perspective.
The judging panel selected eight nominees worthy of recognition as recipients for this award in 2014, for which condensed descriptions are listed below:
Dr. Aldo Bassi, nominated by NGVA Europe (Posthumous Nomination) 1938-2013
In 1966, Dr. Bassi entered the Experimental Design Centre of Alfa Romeo in Milan, where he performed many research activities in the field of electronics applied to the car and environmentally friendly vehicles, particularly focusing in vehicles running on LPG and CNG. An internationally recognized expert, he was an active Chairman of the ISO TC22/SC25 “Road vehicles using gaseous fuels” and valued Consultant to Fiat Auto in the field of gas-fuelled vehicles (LPG and CNG, H2). Dr. Bassi has had a great merit in the development of gaseous fuels in Italy and in the drafting of specific International Standards on this fuel. He was a loved and appreciated technician and scholar.
Accepting the award on his behalf, daughters Alessandra and Federica said, “engineering, knowledge and research were in his DNA. Just imagine, he already wanted to become an engineer at six years old.”
Dr. Juan Carlos Fracchia, nominated by Cámara Argentina del GNC (CAGNC – Argentine NGV Association)
Dr. Fracchia served five terms as President of the CAGNC, founder and first president of the Latin American NGV Association and Past president of IANGV (now NGV Global). He holds an advisory status to the Board of NGV Global. Fracchia has been in the NGV Industry for more than 30 years, and has participated in numerous conferences and meetings. He is vice-President of Argentoil and president of Inflex S.A., cylinder manufacturers.
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), nominated by Gladstein, Neandross and Associates (GNA)
LA Metro, the second largest public transit agency in the country, acquired its first CNG buses since 1993 and retired it’s last diesel bus in 2011, making it the largest clean air fleet in the country and the first major transit agency in the world to operate only alternative fueled transit buses. The current fleet of more than 2,300 CNG buses has logged more than 1.5 billion miles. The agency also operates 10 large natural gas stations to fuel its fleet. These vehicles displace approximately 36 million gallons of gasoline per year, reducing greenhouse gases by 75,852 metric tons annually, the equivalent of taking 15,660 cars off the road.
Due to LA Metro’s commitment, air quality for bus riders has been significantly improved and disadvantaged communities near major roadways have seen declining pollution over the past two decades. Representing LA Metro at the awards presentation was Mr. John Drayton, Manager for Vehicle Technology.
Waste Management’s Marty Tufte, Corporate Fleet Director, and Chip Wertz, Director, Fleet Facility Infrastructure, nominated by Parker Hannifin
Marty has worked at Waste Management for 29 years holding various positions in Fleet and Operations. Current position is Corporate Fleet Director with Enterprise responsibility for CNG operations, Warranty and Fleet compliance, including Geographic responsibility for the Southern half of North America. Waste Management operates over 3,000 NGV’s and 57 natural gas stations.
Chip has been developing alternative fuels fueling infrastructure for Waste Management’s transition from diesel to clean burning natural gas (CNG, LNG, LCNG and renewable natural gas or biomethane) in its fleet of 18,000+ collection vehicles.
Marty and Chip received their awards on behalf of “the best internal and external team in the industry. The progress that Waste Management has made on natural gas would not be possible without them.”
Peter C. G. Commandeur, nominated by NGV Italy
Entrepreneur Peter Commandeur has been active in the Netherlands natural gas vehicle refueling industry for more than a decade, promoting the use of this fuel for transportation in his home country as well as in Belgium, China, Eastern Europe and South Africa.
Driving a compressed natural gas-powered Fiat featuring a two-cylinder engine that gets 50 mpg (21.3 kpl), Peter Commandeur and his wife, Fransje, left New York March 23 and expect to be in Brazil June 23 in time for the 2014 World Cup.
Peter’s motto: “It’s methane time!”
Frank Chapel – Apache Corporation Director Natural Gas Transportation Fuels, Natural Gas Commercial Development, nominated by Mr. Tim Tomlinson, Apache’s NGV Operations Manager
Frank is a recognized figure both nationally and internationally in the early adoption and development of natural gas as a vehicle fuel. His numerous contributions to the industry over the past three decades and his tireless work ethic to promote natural gas as a transportation fuel worldwide include:
- responsibility for adding CNG fueling capability to select Amoco conventional retail stations in various EPA non-attainment metro markets throughout the U.S.,
- representation on DOE Clean Cities committees in Washington, D.C. and the Florida Gold Coast,
- international natural gas transportation fuels consultant for companies and countries including Turkey, Bangladesh and Turkmenistan.
Frank is now Apache’s Director Natural Gas Transportation Fuels and is responsible for promoting natural gas as the alternative transportation fuel of choice. This includes transforming Apache’s U.S. fleet vehicles to natural gas power, constructing and operating CNG fueling stations, educating other fleet managers and consumers about the benefits of natural gas transportation fueling, and representing Apache on various industry organizations/alliances.
Dr. Mostafa M. Kamel Director, Cummins Westport Advanced Engine Systems, Cummins Westport (since January 2013) Director of Product Development, Cummins Westport (2001 – 2012), nominated by Cummins Westport
Dr. Mostafa M. Kamel began developing heavy duty natural gas engines at Cummins in 1990 and has been dedicated to developing natural gas engines ever since. With his engineering staff and colleagues at CWI and Cummins, and with partners and OEMs, he has led the development and launch of more than ten natural gas engine products, in use around the globe. These include the C Gas Plus (2001), B Gas Plus (2002), and the ISL G (2007), certified to 2010 EPA emissions three years early, and introduced the next generation of natural gas engine technology – stoichiometric combustion with cooled Exhaust Gas recirculation (EGR).
With growing interest in natural gas from the heavy duty truck market, the ISX12 G engine was developed and launched in 2013, offering a natural gas option for on-highway trucks. Engines were also developed for markets outside of North America. Today there are more than 40,000 Cummins Westport natural gas engines in service worldwide.
During his acceptance remarks Dr. Kamel observed that a near-zero emissions natural gas engine is not too far away.
Amir Houshang Khaki, nominated by Asia Pacific Natural Gas Vehicles Association (ANGVA)
In 2000, Amir joined Iranian Fuel Conservation Company (IFCO) which was responsible for energy conservation in Iran, where he was directly responsible for the biggest NGV development plan in the world. He later joined auto manufacturer Iran Khodro and established a new company for them, supplying OEM- and retrofit- based CNG equipment and technical services. He established 2 CNG kit production lines for IKCO subsidiaries and was effective in producing and converting around 500,000 NGVs.
Last year he joined Tamkar Gas Co., a CNG stations equipment manufacturer with more than 350 CNG stations to its credit operating all around the country.
Amir was selected as Chairman of ISO mirror technical committee 252 (ISIRI/TC 252)-Natural Gas Fueling Stations for Vehicles (CNG & LNG) in 2012 and has participated as a Board Member of ANGVA.