November 5, 2007
Westport Launches Heavy-Duty LNG Highway Trucks In Australia; First Commercial Pre-Orders for 2008 LNG Trucks
Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX: WPT), a global leader in gaseous-fuelled power technologies, today announced the start of fleet operations of four Westport heavy-duty liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks as part of the previously-announced Australian LNG truck demonstration program. Additionally, Westport has received the first Australian pre-orders for its 2008-model year LNG truck systems.
Three fleet operators of long-distance truck routes have begun operating four new prototype Kenworth T404/408 SAR trucks powered by 2008 Cummins 15-litre ISX engines featuring Westport's direct injection LNG fuel system. Because LNG is simply natural gas that has been cooled to the point where it changes state from gas to liquid, it is an excellent choice for highway trucks because of their range and weight restrictions. LNG is beginning to be widely produced in Australia, where its relatively low cost compared to diesel fuel can deliver significant cost savings for fleets.
With the assistance of the AUD$1.4 million award from the Australian government's Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme (AFCP), Westport has been working to develop and test its HPDI (high pressure direct injection) system for heavy-duty highway trucks in Australia's demanding operating conditions. Australian truck fleets operate the highest mileage, highest load trucks in the world. The testing results conducted to date have validated:
- Matching the Australian diesel power and torque ratings up to 580 hp and 1850 lb-ft.
- Matching the efficiency and fuel consumption of the base diesel engine on the transient and composite test cycles.
- Greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of over 20% relative to the base diesel on the transient and composite test cycles.
- Particulate matter reductions of approximately 50% relative to base diesel and meeting all other limits for certification to the Australian 2008 standards.
"We are excited to get these trucks on the road in Perth and Melbourne, and to begin obtaining real-world economic and performance results with an impressive group of partners. The three participating fleets represent the most experienced LNG users in Australia, perhaps in the world," said Michael Gallagher, President and COO of Westport.
"Expanding our relations with Cummins and Kenworth to include the Australian operations has helped shorten development time and improve product integration," Gallagher added. "The Australian Greenhouse Office has provided tremendous support through every step of the program."
Westport's four demonstration vehicles will use LNG supplied by Wesfarmers Kleenheat Gas and be operated on the following routes:
- Mitchell West Pty. Ltd. will operate two demonstration trucks, hauling crude oil with 100-tonnes gross combined mass (gross vehicle weight) on a continuous 24/7 basis from Dongara, 350 km north of Perth, to a refinery in Kwinana, 50 km south of Perth.
- Sands Fridge Lines will transport up to 90-tonnes GCM of refrigerated goods to Bunbury and Geraldton from their cold storage in Perth.
- Murray Goulburn Co-operative will haul milk products, with 68-tonnes GCM between Leongatha, 150 km east of Melbourne, and Laverton, just west of Melbourne.
Westport's first commercial order for LNG fuel systems in Australia is from Mitchell West Pty. Ltd. in Perth, and includes four Westport direct injection LNG fuel systems integrated into new 2008 Kenworth K108 cab-over trucks powered by Cummins 15-litre engines for delivery in mid-2008, subject to demonstration results.
Westport is planning to offer three LNG power ratings for the Australia Cummins ISX engine (ISX 485, ISX 525, and ISX 550) beginning in mid-2008, with peak power ranging from 500 hp to 580 hp, and torque of 1,650 to 1,850 lb-ft, in selected 2008 model-year truck chassis. Testing has been completed and a submission to the Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services (DoTARS) is being prepared for certification of the Westport LNG engine to the 2008 Australian standards (ADR 80/02).
About Westport's direct injection LNG system for heavy duty trucks
Westport's HPDI (high pressure direct injection) liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel system for Australian heavy-duty trucks offers a unique industry solution with low greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining all the horsepower, torque, and efficiency of a diesel-fuelled engine that is required in heavy-duty truck applications. The Westport engine is fuelled with approximately 95% LNG - a safe, cost effective, low carbon and low emissions fuel.
About the Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme (AFCP)
The Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme is an Australian government funding programme which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heavy commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks by encouraging increased use of alternative fuels or hybrid diesel/electric engines. The programme encourages commercial fleet operators to trial new technologies and to demonstrate their feasibility to the wider transport industry. The AFCP allows the Australian trucking industry to explore whether the potential environmental and economic advantages of natural gas can be demonstrated in Australia's harsh operating environment. www.greenhouse.gov.au/transport
About Westport Innovations Inc.
Westport Innovations Inc. is a leading global supplier of proprietary solutions that allow engines to operate on clean-burning fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, and biofuels such as landfill gas. Cummins Westport Inc., Westport's joint venture with Cummins Inc., manufactures and sells the world's broadest range of low-emissions alternative fuel mid-range engines up to 320 hp for commercial urban transportation applications such as refuse-collection trucks and buses. BTIC Westport Inc., Westport's joint venture with Beijing Tianhai Industry Co. Ltd., manufactures and sells LNG fuel tanks for vehicles.
Note: This document contains forward-looking statements about Westport's business, operations, technology development or the environment in which it operates, which are based on Westport's estimates, forecasts and projections. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict, or are beyond Westport's control. Consequently, readers should not place any undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. In addition, these forward-looking statements relate to the date on which they are made. Westport disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Contacts: Westport Innovations Inc. Jonathan Burke Investor Relations (604) 718-2046 (Canada) Email: [email protected] Website: www.westport.com
SOURCE: Westport Innovations Inc.