Shell Canada and Caterpillar have signed an agreement to test a new engine and fuel mix using liquefied natural gas (LNG) in mining trucks.
Caterpillar will continue development work to design and build a fully integrated mining truck where LNG displaces most of the diesel power—also known as dual fuel. Through this agreement, Caterpillar will test the design at Shell's oil sands operations located near Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada.
In addition to the new truck Caterpillar is developing, Shell will also retrofit existing trucks from its fleet with the new engine for the trial, as well as provide fuelling infrastructure, at its Shell Albian Sands operation near Fort McMurray.
"We are excited to collaborate with Shell on this latest initiative to power Cat mining trucks with Caterpillar's LNG technology. Many of our customers are asking for natural-gas powered equipment in order to reap the financial and environmental benefits. This agreement further builds upon our efforts in delivering cost effective, reliable and innovative solutions to our customers," said Chris Curfman, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for Mining Sales & Support Division.
Field testing of dual fuel powered mining trucks at Shell's oil sands operations is expected to begin in 2016, with the trial expected to last up to one year.