Shell Canada Ltd. and Caterpillar will be testing new engine technology and a new fuel mixture using liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Shell's Albian Sands operations located near Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Caterpillar, which has a background in LNG-powered equipment in various high-horsepower applications, will design and build a fully integrated diesel/LNG dual-fuel mining truck that primarily burns LNG as fuel. Shell is also planning on retrofitting existing trucks from its fleet with the new engine for trial runs, as well as building nearby LNG refueling capacity.
‘We are excited to collaborate with Shell on this latest initiative to power Cat mining trucks with Caterpillar's LNG technology,’ says Caterpillar's Chris Curfman. ‘Many of our customers are asking for natural-gas powered equipment in order to reap the financial and environmental benefits.’
The field-testing of the dual-fuel trucks is expected to begin in 2016, with the trial anticipated to continue for year. The results of the testing will help Shell determine how to best use LNG fuel across different sectors, including marine and on-road transportation.