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Westport and Cummins amend JV agreement; new 12-liter CWI heavy-duty natural gas engine

21 February 2012

Westport Innovations Inc. and Cummins Inc. have entered into an amended and restated joint venture agreement (JVA) for the Cummins Westport Inc. (CWI) joint venture. The JVA was amended to provide for, among other things, clarification concerning the scope of products within CWI. In addition, the parties have revised certain economic terms of the JVA.

Separately, CWI announced the commercial launch of a new 12-liter natural gas engine—the ISX12 G—based on the Cummins ISX12 diesel platform. The new engine incorporates the same combustion technology as CWI’s most successful engine, the 8.9 liter ISL G. The new ISX12 G is currently in field trials with production expected to commence in early 2013.

CWI will market this new engine in North America, and Cummins will have the option of developing international versions of this new engine for markets outside North America. The new engine will be manufactured in ’Jamestown, New York Engine Plant.

Under the prior JVA, CWI had a global exclusive right to design, engineer, and market mid-range on-road spark-ignited natural gas engines based on Cummins diesel engines manufactured in Cummins facilities. Cummins and Westport have agreed in the amended and restated JVA to focus CWI’s future product development on North American markets including engines for on-road applications between the displacement range of 5.9 liters through 12 litres, and to have these engines manufactured in Cummins North American plants.

Westport will appoint the President for the first three-year term. The chairman will be Ed Pence, Cummins Vice President and General Manager - Heavy Duty Engine Business.

The joint venture will now have a term of ten years. The JVA can be terminated under certain circumstances before the end of the term, including in the event of a material breach of the agreement by, or in the event of a change of control of one of the parties.

ISX12 G Natural Gas Engine. The ISX12 G is a 12-liter heavy-duty, factory-built dedicated natural gas engine for regional haul truck / tractor, vocational and refuse applications. The ISX12 G natural gas engine is based on the Cummins ISX12 diesel engine platform, the newest member of Cummins heavy duty engine family.

The ISX12 G will operate exclusively on natural gas (CNG or LNG) utilizing Cummins Westport’s proprietary spark-ignited, stoichiometric combustion with cooled exhaust gas recirculation (SEGR) technology, first introduced with the 8.9 liter ISL G.

The cooled EGR system takes a measured quantity of exhaust gas and passes it through a cooler to reduce temperatures before mixing it with fuel and the incoming air charge to the cylinder. Cooled EGR, in combination with stoichiometric combustion provides significant benefits, CWI notes.

The use of cooled EGR (in place of large amounts of excess air used in lean burn technology) lowers combustion temperatures and knock tendency. SEGR combustion also improves power density and fuel economy vs. lean burn and traditional stoichiometric engines. Compared to previous Cummins Westport (CWI) lean burn natural gas engines, ISL G torque at idle is improved more than 30% and fuel economy is improved by up to 5%.

The ISX12 G features three-way catalyst aftertreatment, which is packaged as a muffler and is maintenance free. No diesel particulate filter or selective catalytic reduction aftertreatment will be required.

Preliminary specifications include a range of ratings to 400 hp (298 kW) and 1,450 lb-ft (1,966 N·m) torque, optional engine brake, and manual and automatic transmission capability to meet customer and original equipment manufacturer requirements.

The ISX12 G target markets at launch are North American regional haul and vocational truck/tractor, and refuse applications, where demand for natural gas vehicles is growing. Anticipated end-use applications in the regional haul market segment include intermodal and distribution operation, pickup and delivery. Potential post-launch market opportunities include motor coach and specialty vocational applications.

The ISX12 G is expected to be certified at launch to meet the US Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emission standards of 0.20 g/bhp-hr NOx and 0.01 g/bhp-hr PM. The engine is additionally expected to be capable of meeting EURO VI and pending US greenhouse gas and fuel economy regulations.

Partial funding in support of the ISX12 G engine development has been received from theUS Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the California Energy Commission in conjunction with the Gas Technology Institute.

15-liter engine manufacturing agreement. Westport also announced that it has entered into a Supply Agreement with Cummins to allow manufacturing of the Westport HD 15 liter engine in a Cummins manufacturing facility in Jamestown, New York.

The Supply Agreement helps accelerate our scalability and cost reduction at over 1,500 units per year. At scale, Westport HD would be able to recognize the sale of the engine in addition to on- and off-engine components increasing revenue per system.

— Clark Quintin, President of Westport HD

The new HD Supply Agreement provides Westport with the ability to have its Westport technology-equipped heavy duty engines produced in a Cummins manufacturing facility when a minimum threshold sales volume of at least 1,500 engines in any 12-month period has been achieved by Westport. The supply agreement term is for three years beginning from the date the first Westport technology-equipped engine is shipped by Cummins after Westport meets the minimum volume threshold. The term automatically renews if the threshold volumes continue to be achieved. If Cummins does not ship a Westport technology-equipped engine within the next five years, the agreement will terminate.

February 21, 2012 in Engines, Heavy-duty, Natural Gas | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

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Very interesting - good news!

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