ST-ROMUALD, Que. -- By about the end of this September, St-Romuald, Que.-based Transport YN.-Gonthier will become the second carrier in the province to use liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled transport trucks. It has ordered two Peterbilt 386 tractors with 475 hp/1,750 lb.-ft. Westport 15-litre engines and will run them between Quebec City and Montreal.
The purchase is an important milestone for the entry of LNG trucks into mainstream Canadian trucking.
“Transport Robert (the first Quebec carrier to operate LNG trucks) is very innovative. Now Gonthier, a standard business owner, has made a decision to buy LNG trucks. Seeing mainstream companies jump into this is good news for us. The word spread fast that Gonthier purchased LNG trucks and we are getting more calls from standard companies,” enthuses Martin Blanchet, business development manager, Gaz Metro Transport Solutions.
Gonthier will be receiving two $15,000 subsidies from Transports Quebec’s PEET program to help pay for the trucks.
More LNG fueling stations are absolutely critical to the acceptance of the technology. On Sept. 20 Gaz Metro will be installing a 6,000-gallon mobile fueling station in the Transport Robert terminal in Quebec City. This will keep both carriers’ trucks running until a public fueling station is operational in or near Quebec City in 2013. “We are in the process of buying the land for the public site,” Blanchet says.
“Gaz Metro has given us a very strong assurance that the Quebec City station will be built. It is very important for us,” says Yvan Gonthier, co-owner of YN.-Gonthier.
To get the quickest possible payback on the extra cost of buying the trucks, Gonthier will put as many kilometres on the trucks as it can, in the shortest time possible.
“The calculations that Gaz Metro and Westport gave me are that if a truck is run 300,000 kilometres a year, I will break even after two years. What is important for me, because the trucks are so expensive, is that we are going to put miles on them faster, save fuel costs and more quickly reimburse the difference between diesel and LNG,” Gonthier explains.
Look for a full report on Gonthier’s LNG purchase in the October issue of Truck News.