Westport Innovations Inc. and Caterpillar Inc. will co-develop natural gas technology for off-road equipment, including mining trucks and locomotives.
VANCOUVER: Westport Innovations Inc. and Caterpillar Inc. will co-develop natural gas technology for off-road equipment, including mining trucks and locomotives.
Westport, a Vancouver-based developer of natural gas engine technology, will combine its high-pressure direct injection (HPDI) technology with Caterpillar’s off-road engine and machine products to develop a natural gas fuel system.
Caterpillar, a manufacturer of mining and construction equipment based in Peoria, Ill. will fund the development program.
Westport said when the products go to market, it expects to participate in the supply of key components.
“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 David Demers, CEO of Westport Innovations. “There is also a clear environmental incentive because of the reduced carbon emissions.”
He also acknowledged a potential for additional business converting existing field units to natural gas.
The companies said development programs will start immediately for both new and existing engines, combustion technology and fuel systems.
Commercial production is expected to begin in about five years.