Caterpillar Inc. announced at the inaugural Natural Gas for High Horsepower Applications (HHP) Summit on September 27, 2012, its intentions to go ‘all-in’ on natural gas and produce even more natural gas-fueled equipment and engines for a variety of applications.
“We have decided to go all-in on gas,” said Joel Feucht, Caterpillar’s director of gas engine strategy for the energy and power systems businesses. “We are going to invest because we see a global market long term. Large engines are going gas. It’s not debatable; it’s our conclusion.”
Feucht’s remarks confirmed that Caterpillar will provide natural gas fuel as an option for engines across its many high horsepower lines for marine, rail, mining, earthmoving and drilling operations. The company recently announced its first expected liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered product will likely include Cat 793, 795 and 797 mining trucks, and locomotives produced by Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), a unit of Caterpillar’s Progress Rail Services.
“There is huge economic incentive to move to natural gas,” Feucht said, noting that price of oil and gas are going to stay disconnected for the foreseeable future creating an economic incentive to use natural gas in fuel-hungry high horsepower applications.
Current users of natural gas to power high horsepower equipment are realizing a cost savings of 30 to 50 percent. New technologies expanding access in North America have contributed to the low-cost of natural gas.