By: Kristie Kubovic, Director of Communications, Shale Media Group
Edited By: Mindy Gattner, Editor, Shale Media Group
The Tri-State Alternative Fueling Expo & Conference is quickly approaching and is scheduled for February 24-26, 2015 at the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, PA. Themed “Success Stories,” the event in its second year ties the growing alternative fuels trade to the transportation and shale oil and gas industries.
The event showcases exhibitors from not only the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), also known as propane, and compressed natural gas (CNG) realms of the industry, but includes all types of alternative fuels and energy companies. The event is set to showcase heavy-, medium-, and light-duty trucks and other motorized equipment that run on alternative fuels. There will also be fueling infrastructure on display for CNG and propane.
With the domestic abundance and growth of the shale oil and gas industry in the United States, the alternative fuels industry (CNG and propane in particular) picked up speed in terms of garnering more attention and popularity. Both CNG and propane are cleaner than petroleum-based fuel and helps reduce emissions from greenhouse gases. Plus, they offer America energy security, since their source comes from areas like the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays, a region right under the feet of millions of Americans.
The conference will include keynote speakers Toby Fauver, Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Chief Executive. Additional sessions will include presentations from representatives from Giant Eagle, Waste Management, “O”Ring CNG Fueling Systems, and Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities.
Platinum Sponsor, ProGas, Inc. is a propane distributor in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio that services residential and commercial accounts along with propane motor fuel, known as autogas. ProGas has been a driving force behind the slow and steady growth of propane use as an alternative fuel in the region. Ronald Schramm, President, ProGas, explained, “Propane is an alternative fuel that is easy to store, has a high energy content, produces low emissions by contributing up to 25% less greenhouse gas emissions [as compared to gasoline], and is non-toxic and presents no threat to soil, surface water, or groundwater.” Many fleet vehicles, such as school buses, shuttles, and police vehicles are utilizing autogas as a fuel source.
ProGas will have propane fueling infrastructure on display that includes a 1,000 gallon propane dispensing station and a cylinder exchange cabinet used for portable equipment. Schramm says, “This year with the help and leadership of the Propane Educational and Research Council, we grouped all the propane vendors and their displays together. Having everything grouped together will allow the attendees the opportunity to walk over to specific equipment or machinery and discuss it with the exhibitors.”
Schramm added that the propane section will also include a number of propane powered alternative fueled vehicles on display, including ProGas’ Ford passenger AutoGas van, a propane powered BlueBird Bus, and Roush Clean Tech’s propane liquid injection Ford pickup truck. This year ProGas is also showcasing propane powered lawn equipment including the Exmark zero-turn mower, a Lehr Eco Weed Trimmer, and a Lehr 15 HP propane-powered 4 stroke outboard motor. In addition to the propane exhibitors’ personnel, the propane area will be well staffed by a number a Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association members, who are well versed on all propane related items.
Schramm says, “CNG and propane autogas are leading the growth in the alternative fuels market. Even with falling gasoline and diesel prices, propane autogas continues to offer cost advantages over conventional fuels. Price is a key factor, but not the only factor. Fleet managers look at overall performance, efficiency, and productivity. Propane provides all of that and more. With the Marcellus Shale and all the shale plays throughout our country, we need to use these products.”
In addition, Schramm will conduct the “Be a Cut Above” seminar, along with Walt Stoltz, Marketing Services Manager, Lawn Equipment Parts Company (LEPCO). The seminar is designed to provide information on transitioning a commercial mowing fleet to propane. “In the past, we have showcased the use of propane as a motor fuel in light- and medium-duty vehicles. We are still doing that, but this year we are also emphasizing the use of propane in lawnmowers,” relayed Schramm, who noted, “The factors to consider for alternative fuel analysis include economics, environmental responsibility, and energy independence.”
Schramm also added that due to their environmental friendliness, these propane propelled lawn mowers could even be used on ozone action days and that PERC is currently offering a $2,000 rebate for anyone who purchases a new OEM mower. More details could be obtained in the seminar, in which Schramm will discuss fueling options, while Stoltz will talk about the lawn equipment.
At last year’s inaugural Tri-State Alternative Fueling Expo & Conference, Rick Price, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, remarked, “There are a lot of misnomers about alternative fuel and technology. I like to give the facts and background. The event in itself brought so many different varieties of vendors to one area for the purpose of alternative fuels.” Dan Weaver, Director of Public Outreach, Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA), added, “It is important to see what is going on in the industry, especially on the end user side. There needs to be places or outlets for the product to go. It is fantastic to see new markets opening up at events like this.”
Additional exhibitors will include: Beemac Trucking, LLC; Cummins Bridgeway; FYDA Freightliner and Energy Solutions; Lias Contracting, LLC; Penn State Eco Car 3; Peoples Natural Gas Company; Rel-Tek Corporation; VFG Energy Leasing & Finance; and West Virginia University Eco Car 3. For more on the second annual Tri-State Alternative Fueling Expo & Conference, click here. For more on ProGas, Inc., click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 866.452.7262.
Shale Media Group (SMG) is the news, information, and education resource dedicated to the shale oil and gas industries by messaging across video, Internet, publications, events, and radio. For more, check out ShaleMediaGroup.com to access all platforms, including SMG’s latest news delivery system–Shale Energy Business Briefing (SEBB), an ad-free subscription based service, where subscribers receive a real-time, daily email, featuring concise, hard hitting shale news 7 days/week, 365 days/year. To sign up, go to sebb.us. Kristie Kubovic is the Director of Communications at Shale Media Group. Contact her at Kristie@ShaleMediaGroup.com.