ECUA Gets New Natural Gas Garbage Trucks, ESP To Build Fueling Stations

June 1, 2012

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority has taken delivery of the first of 50 new compressed natural gas refuse collection vehicles, and Thursday, Energy Services of Pensacola broke ground on the first of three fast-fill CNG fueling stations.

“Today, as we break ground on this visionary project, we enter a new era for the City of Pensacola, Energy Services of Pensacola, and the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority,” said Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward. “The natural gas vehicles operated by the city and ECUA will cost less to fuel and maintain, and in this era of tight budgets, every dollar we can save counts.”

ECUA projects an annual savings of about $350,000 in maintenance costs and $900,00 in annual fuel costs.  ECUA plans to convert an additional 10-15 vehicles in its water and wastewater fleet during the first year of the agreement, with additional vehicles converted over the  next eight years as part of normal vehicle replacement schedules.

Instead of one large 80- gallon diesel tank on each sanitation truck, the new CNG trucks have three 25-gallon compressed natural gas tanks. The tanks are stacked between the cab and body or on the top of the body depending on the type of collection vehicle.

The 50 sanitation trucks will cost ECUA  $12,029,000, or an average of $240,580 per truck. ECUA expects a $20,000 per truck fuel savings per year over and 8-10 year lifespan for the vehicles.

“ECUA customers will see a direct benefit. Currently the ECUA bills include a fuel surcharge that is based on the price of diesel fuel. At present market cost, the surcharge is $1.45 per month to a full rate customer. Because the price of CNG is appreciably less than diesel fuel, we expect our customers will realize an immediate savings through a reduced fuel surcharge once the switch to CNG has been implemented,” said Randy Rudd, ECUA director of Shared Services.

The new ECUA  fast-fill station on ECUA property near Pine Forest Road is expected to be operational by September. Under the terms of the agreement, ECUA will pay ESP a monthly transportation charge as well as an indexed price per diesel gallon equivalent of CNG fuel used by  ECUA vehicles. ESP will operate and maintain the station, which eventually will be open to the public and third-party fleets.

Pictured top: Patrick Zeiter and Winston Silvia of Zeit Energy, ESP Director Don Suarez, Mayor Ashton Hayward, and ECUA Board members Elizabeth Campbell and Larry Walker break ground for a fast-fill CNG station on ECUA property just off Pine Forest Road Thursday afternoon. Pictured top inset: Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward speaks Thursday afternoon during a CNG station groundbreaking.  Pictured bottom inset: Three CNG tanks behind the cab of new ECUA waste collection vehicle. Pictured below: A new CNG powered ECUA refuse truck. Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.


6 Responses to “ECUA Gets New Natural Gas Garbage Trucks, ESP To Build Fueling Stations”

  1. David Huie Green on June 2nd, 2012 4:29 pm

    “The NG will be drier(no oil) than the diesel and will shorten the life of the rings and valve guides”

    When natural gas powered engines were used in Milton several years back for garbage trucks, the maintenance people noted they lasted longer than expected because the oil stayed cleaner. (The police department didn’t like them because they didn’t have as much get-up-and-go as gasoline.”

    “The accumulation of unburned fuel, soot and acids are the major contributors to the breakdown of motor oil. It’s not so much that the oil itself “wears out,” rather it’s the depletion of additive packages from the cumulative effects of time and mileage that renders the oil ineffective. When motor oil is kept relatively clean, the anti-oxidants, anti-scuff compounds, viscosity index improvers (and myriad other additives) don’t take such a “lickin,” so they can keep on “tickin.”
    “One of the biggest benefits of natural gas and propane as automotive fuels is their clean burning characteristics. Both fuels burn so cleanly that not only do they produce scant tailpipe emissions, but they also release virtually no by-products of combustion (carbon particulates and acids) into the motor oil. “

    David for longer engine lives
    and lower costs in human lives

  2. Russ on June 1st, 2012 5:29 pm

    Is this gonna lower our garbage bill?

  3. bob hudson on June 1st, 2012 9:53 am

    This is the future of our country. Take the money from the so called green tech groups , and put it on design and distribution of this kind of product. its here , and it works.

  4. well on June 1st, 2012 9:11 am

    Wow, it could lower your bill. A $1.45 a month if they removed all the fuel surcharge. Not to interesting.

    But the headlines should be big if one of them ever goes off.

  5. 429SCJ on June 1st, 2012 7:58 am

    Photo op especial.

    Implementation of a good technology. The NG will be drier(no oil) than the diesel and will shorten the life of the rings and valve guides, seat, but considering the emmission
    contrast, the maintenance cost are well worth it.

  6. Jane on June 1st, 2012 7:16 am

    They have been using natural gas vehicles over in Europe for years. It is about time we did this. Now for the cars………

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