Icom North America EPA Certifies Liquid Injection Propane on Ford Transit

Icom North America, LLC of New Hudson, Michigan, extends its industry propane autogas fleet offerings with model year 2015, Ford Transit 3.7 Dedicated or Bi-fuel platforms. These Fleet Platforms are focused on Delivery, Shuttle and Work Truck vehicles, providing reduced fleet fuel costs as well as meet their sustainability goals with an abundant domestic fuel.
 
Icom's Vice President National Fleet Accounts, Bradley Wagoner stated, "Icom is continuously increasing its vehicle offering of EPA Certified Platforms available for our fleet customers allowing complete coverage for new and existing vehicles. This platform application is an outstanding opportunity for up-fitters, shuttle bus and Ford dealers across North America.”
Ford Transit Police Van
Icom’s propane liquid injection technology has obtained numerous EPA and California Air Resources Board certifications to power a full lineup of, Dodge, Ford, and GM vehicles (Visit http://bit.ly/1JMOGPu for additional information on Icom's EPA certified systems). The company develops, assembles and integrates the Environmental Protection Agency certified Patented JTG, JTG II, JTGhp, and JTG-D propane liquid injection fuel systems, as well as toroidal and cylindrical fuel tanks.
 
Ronny Martinez, Icom Autogas fleet development specialist noted, “Fleets will enjoy all the added benefits of using the Icom system which is technologically advanced guaranteeing a seamless integration, performance and reduced fuel cost. Icom’s exclusive Ford Transit option of Dedicated or Bi-fuel applications and wide variety of integrated tank solutions allows Icom to provide the best possible choice for customer needs. We have a large order bank of Ford Transit systems both dedicated and bi-fuel versions utilizing a variety of tank options.”  
 
Icom expects shortly to announce additional EPA Certifications for key fleet platforms and technologies further increasing its industry position as a provider of liquid injection propane systems.

Westport Innovations and Fuel Systems Solutions Enter Into Merger Agreement

Westport Innovations Inc. and Fuel Systems Solutions, Inc. announced that the companies have entered into a merger agreement to create a global alternative fuel vehicle and engine company. The transaction will result in a combined equity value of $351 million based on the closing trading prices for the shares of both companies on August 31, 2015 and combined annual revenues ranging from $380 to $405 million projected for 2015. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is also subject to the required approval of both Fuel Systems and Westport's shareholders. The combined company will have a core focus on developing next generation technology.
Westport Ford F150 LiquidPropaneGas

The merger combines 17 brands in the automotive and industrial space and will allow customers and stakeholders to benefit from the consolidation of technologies, and the expansion of product portfolios, OEM relationships, and global distribution networks. The new entity will conduct business in more than 70 countries, represent a combined 100 years of experience and will trade on both the TSX and Nasdaq under the Westport Fuel Systems name, ticker symbol Nasdaq: WPRT and TSX: WPT, with a new business unit called Fuel Systems Automotive and Industrial Group. The companies' respective boards of directors have unanimously approved this transaction.

Last December, Westport Innovations acquired Netherlands based Prins Autogassystemen (Prins), developer of high quality alternative fuel systems powered by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or propane), compressed natural gas (CNG), and liquefied natural gas (LNG) for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty applications. Prins operations in Europe were combined under the Westport Applied Technologies business unit.

Westport Innovations primary focus is technological development and commercialization efforts in the heavy-duty and high horsepower arena, while Fuel Systems focuses on the light- and medium-duty products for automotive and industrial applications. Their combined product development efforts will span passenger car to heavy-duty trucks to locomotives and marine applications to stationary power.

Improved profitability is expected even in current volatile market conditions, including untapped savings and merger synergies in excess of $30 million per year starting in 2016 and fully realized by calendar year 2018, excluding one-time costs, per an announcement on the Westport website. Included in the $30 million per year is $15 million in annualized benefits expected to be generated by Fuel Systems' restructuring program in 2016 and beyond, Westport's previously announced initiatives to reach adjusted EBITDA positive by mid-2016, and an additional $15 million in merger synergies through a combination of reductions in corporate management costs, manufacturing costs, and operating expenses. The combined companies will have filed more than 500 patents in LPG/CNG/LNG parts and systems worldwide. This combination of  intellectual property development and commercialization efforts is expected to expand the product pipeline for the industry.

Under the terms of the merger, Westport will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Fuel Systems common stock in a stock-for-stock transaction under which Fuel Systems shareholders will receive 2.129 Westport shares for each share of Fuel Systems common stock they own at closing, representing a 10% premium to Fuel Systems shareholders based on the closing trading prices of Westport's and Fuel Systems' shares on August 31, 2015 or an implied value to Fuel Systems shareholders of $7.54 per share. Following closing, existing Westport shareholders will hold approximately 64% of the combined company and Fuel Systems shareholders 36% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis. To date, shareholders owning 34% of Fuel Systems and 15% of Westport outstanding shares have each agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger. Subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions and receipt of required approvals, the companies anticipate closing the transaction in the 4th quarter of 2015. Westport and Fuel Systems will operate as separate companies until that time.

Meritum Energy Holdings, LP Announces Acquisition of Texas-based Pico Petroleum

Meritum Energy Holdings, LP (Meritum) recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of Pico Petroleum, a propane and fuel distribution business in south Texas. Meritum noted completion of the equity raise and closing of the limited partnership that was created to acquire, own and operate propane, NGL and fuel distribution related assets and operations throughout the southern United States. Meritum closed on a credit facility structured to allow for the initial Pico Petroleum acquisition and also provides for significant additional capacity for future growth.
pico we sell service logo
For the past 29 years, Pico Petroleum has distributed propane, gas, diesel, oils and lubricants to customers in over 35 south Texas counties. “Pico Petroleum is an outstanding platform for us to build from,” explained President and CEO Chris Hill. “They have a great group of employees and have developed an excellent reputation for delivering the highest level of service and safety to their customers and we look forward to building upon that.” Pico has bulk plants in Boerne, Carrizo Springs, Uvalde, Del Rio, Pearsall, Floresville and Kenedy, Texas.

Meritum announced it will continue with the “Pico” brand and will operate under the name Pico Propane and Fuels. The company plans to expand Pico Propane and Fuels into new markets and broaden its service offerings in the propane and fuel distribution business. “We look forward to drawing from our experience and relationships in the industry to expand upon what Pico currently offers,” said Rob Chalmers, CFO and EVP of Business Development for Meritum. “Building a business development and sales team to support and grow the already quality operations of Pico is an exciting proposition for us.”

Meritum was formed in 2015 by Christopher Hill and Robert Chalmers, executives with experience in the propane, fuel distribution and natural gas liquids (NGL) industry. The company was founded to acquire, own and operate propane, fuel distribution and NGL-related assets and operations throughout the United States. “As we continue to grow the company through acquisitions and organic sales efforts, knowing that we have the capital to execute on that growth is critical,” said Hill.

Alliance AutoGas' EPA Certifications enable Law Enforcement to “Protect and Save”

Clean vehicle and fuel provider Alliance AutoGas announced recently that it has received new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifications covering 2015 and 2016 model year availability for bi-fuel Police Vehicles including:
 
• Ford Taurus Interceptor 3.5L (2013, 2014, 2015),
• Ford Explorer Interceptor 3.5L & 3.7L (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016),
• Dodge Charger 3.6L (2015)  
• Dodge Charger 5.7 HEMI (2013, 2014, 2015)
 2015 Propane Autogas Dodge Charger Police Interceptor
Specifically of interest to U.S. Law Enforcement fleets are the certifications of the Ford Explorer Police Interceptor, Ford Taurus Police Interceptor, and the Dodge Charger Pursuit.
 
These platforms are being offered with Alliance AutoGas' exclusive plug and play technology. This technology allows for consistent OEM quality installs taking only a few hours.
 
Certifications are secured by Blossman Services Inc. (BSI), the equipment distributor for Alliance AutoGas (www.allianceautogas.com). BSI is the exclusive United States distributor and the Manufacturer of Record (MOR) for EPA and CARB certifications on behalf of Alliance AutoGas and its members.

Alliance AutoGas offers the only comprehensive conversion program in the United States. Alliance AutoGas consults with companies to determine if propane autogas is a good choice for their fleet and is able to convert existing vehicles without voiding any warranties.
EPA certified Propane 2016 Ford Explorer

The state-of-the-art conversions are EPA-certified, to ensure safety and maximum efficiency, and performed for zero upfront cost.  Alliance builds the fueling station wherever the fleet is based at no upfront cost and provides a guaranteed fuel supply going forward. Refueling infrastructure costs are considerably less than any other fuel source and scalable, growing as the size of the fleet increases. Alliance AutoGas additionally provides fleet management software integration; training and full support in the form of safely training, warranties on conversions, and advise on green branding opportunities.
 
Alliance AutoGas, the nation's largest network providing EPA-certified Propane Autogas conversion systems to mid- and heavy-duty fleets in North America, has converted more than 7,400 vehicles to run on cleaner-burning, affordable, domestically-produced propane autogas. In 2014 alone, Alliance AutoGas members collectively displaced 32 million gallons of gasoline and produced $45 million in fuel cost savings for the 460 fleets they service.

Propane-Powered School Buses Save Broward County Public Schools Over $600,000 In Annual Operating Costs

A recent analysis found Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Student Transportation and Fleet Services Department reduced its annual operating costs by more than $600,000 through the use of school buses fueled by propane autogas.
 Broward Co Blue Bird School Buses

BCPS began using 98 of the propane autogas fueled school buses, made by Blue Bird, in the 2014/15 school year. “Providing safe and efficient transportation for our students is always our priority,” said Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “The fuel and maintenance savings from our buses using propane autogas has allowed us to reduce our expenses for transporting students to and from school.”

The district paid an average of $1.32 per gallon for propane and $2.75 for diesel over the last year. In addition to fuel savings, annual maintenance costs for the alternatively fueled buses amounted to 80 percent less than for their diesel buses. Propane autogas reduces maintenance costs due to the fuel’s clean-burning properties.

The sixth largest school system in the nation, BCPS operates 1,269 school buses, including the 98 fueled by propane autogas. Each bus travels an average of 16,500 miles per year, transporting approximately 75,000 students. BCPS expects to save more than $74,000 in operating costs over the 12-year lifecycle of each propane autogas bus, which equates to a 38 cents per mile savings.

“After researching the direction of school bus transportation, we decided propane was the best fit and the best use of taxpayer dollars,” said Patricia Snell, director of student transportation and fleet services for BCPS. “We’ve been thrilled with the savings, as well as the performance of the buses.”
BCPS budgeted for a six-month return on investment of the initial propane engine upcharge, but succeeded in recouping that cost in three months. The Blue Bird Propane Vision buses had an incremental cost of less than 3 percent more than their diesel counterparts.

“The budget-conscious decisions made by Broward County Public Schools means their students ride cleaner, cost-effective buses that emit less harmful pollutants,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech, the manufacturer of the engine fuel system and an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology including propane autogas fuel system technology for light- and medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird school buses. “Propane autogas is a smart, versatile and American-made fuel choice that is beneficial for all school districts.”

In addition to bottom line savings, the 98 propane autogas bus fleet emits 153,000 fewer pounds of nitrogen oxide and 3,100 less pounds of particulate matter each year compared to the diesel buses they replaced.

The school district has ordered 37 additional propane autogas buses for the 2015/16 school year.