Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance applauds Calgary’s leading natural gas for transit project

March 21, 2019. The Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance recognized the City of Calgary and Calgary Transit for officially opening the cutting-edge stoney compressed natural gas (CNG) bus storage and transit facility.

   The construction of this new facility is a leading example of public-private (P3) partnerships. The new 44,300 square meter facility is believed to be the largest of its kind in North America, with the ability to simultaneously fuel six buses indoors from empty to full in less than four minutes. It will house approximately 450 buses, 36 maintenance bays, two steam bays, on-site compressed natural gas fueling infrastructure, and associated staff facilities. It will also support diesel bus operations, recognizing the transition period needed to introduce additional CNG buses into Calgary Transit’s fleet.

   Calgary Transit has been operating four CNG buses for several years and has proven that they meet transit service requirements, even in Calgary’s cold winters. This month Calgary Transit is adding forty new CNG buses utilizing the new 2018 L9N Cummins Westport engine. Over the next three years, Calgary Transit plans to add an additional 150 natural gas-powered buses and replace a total of 450 diesel buses by 2025.

   Use of CNG as fuel will result in three important benefits for Calgarians. First, these buses will generate savings of approximately $3.9 million annually by 2021 as result of the lower fuel cost of natural gas. Second, a CNG bus produces approximately 17 per cent less GHG emissions (C02e kg/km) on a well-to-wheel basis compared to diesel. Third, these buses will reduce air and noise pollution. Natural gas engines are much cleaner burning and the Cummins Westport L9N engine has 90 per cent fewer NOx emissions than the current North American EPA standard. When idling, CNG buses are also approximately 10 times quieter than diesel buses.

   Alberta’s natural gas vehicle industry worked collaboratively with the City of Calgary in building this facility which will benefit the community.  The ATCO Gas Distribution Division will supply a high inlet pressure gas service, enabling the city to reduce compressor capital and operating costs.