Australia tests trucks with liquefied natural gas

| 2/24/2006

Three Western Australian trucking companies are taking part in a program to test running their diesel engines on liquefied natural gas.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported that the Australian Greenhouse Office is conducting the trial to determine if the gas might be an effective alternative to diesel.

Andy Burns, whose trucking company, Regional Haulage, is one of the three involved in the test, told the ABC that so far he’s impressed with the results.

“The liquefied natural gas is a very, very powerful gas and you can carry a lot of it in a very small space,” he said.

Burns said safety has not been an issue.

“It’s very safe,” he said. “The protocol that’s been put in place to handle it, everybody’s trained on the use of it.”

Burns is running the LNG in American-designed Caterpillar engines. Currently, only three of his trucks are running on the gas, but he hopes to have that number up to 10 before long.