VANCOUVER - Westport Innovations, a global leader in natural gas engines, has signed agreements with Caterpillar of Peoria, IL, to co-develop natural gas technology for off-road equipment, including mining trucks and locomotives. Caterpillar and Westport will combine technologies and expertise, including Westport™ high pressure direct injection (HPDI) technology and Caterpillar's industry leading off-road engine and machine product technology, to develop the natural gas fuel system. Caterpillar will fund the development program. When the products go to market, Westport expects to participate in the supply of key components.
While the agreements initially focus on engines used in mining trucks and locomotives, the companies will also develop natural gas technology for Caterpillar's off-road engines, which are used in a variety of electric power, industrial, machine, marine and petroleum applications worldwide.
“The substantial price difference between natural gas and diesel fuel is resulting in a strong financial incentive to enable off-road applications to take advantage of low natural gas energy costs without sacrificing operational performance,” said Westport CEO David Demers. “There is also a clear environmental incentive because of the reduced carbon emissions. Adding to the solid business case for this program is the potential to convert existing field units to natural gas, opening up a whole new market opportunity."
Demers statement and those of Caterpillar executives can be seen at Westport.com/news/2012/westport-and-caterpillar-natural-gas-technology-agreement or YouTube.com/watch?v=wuLIA26uUwk.