Still Time To Participate In Propane Farm Incentive Program

The Propane Education & Research Council’s (PERC) Propane Farm Incentive Program, designed to provide financial incentives to qualifying and selected farmers and agricultural producers to help with the purchase of propane-powered farm equipment in exchange for sharing real-world performance data is set to expire Dec. 31, 2016. The Propane Farm Incentive Program provides financial incentives up to $24,000 to qualifying applicants who purchase select pieces of equipment and agree to share their experiences.
PERC Farm Incentive Logo

Applicants need to act quickly to take advantage of incentives for propane ag equipment before the Dec. 31st deadline, and before significant program changes take effect in 2017. Not only will agricultural producers significantly offset purchase costs for new propane ag equipment, propane also lowers fuel costs, cuts greenhouse gas emissions, and reduces maintenance time and expense because it is a clean-burning fuel.

“If you’ve been considering the purchase of new, highly efficient propane-powered equipment, now is the time to move forward to ensure optimal savings,” said Cinch Munson, Director of Agriculture Business Development at PERC. “We have a limited number of incentives still available for 2016, and now is the optimal time to make those purchases and save as much as possible in the process.”

The 2016 Propane Farm Incentive Program provides $300 per liter of fuel displacement for propane-powered irrigation engines, $1,500 for qualifying generators, and $2,000 for qualifying agricultural heaters.

In 2017, the current application process (online at www.propane.com/farmincentive) is being replaced with a limited number of application packets available to interested participants through equipment dealers and distributors. Additional details regarding PERC’s 2017 Propane Farm Incentive Program and  incentive amounts will be announced soon. Visit http://www.propane.com/farmincentive/ for additional details.

Grant Program Awards $140K For Propane Buses to Six Indiana School Districts

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 2, 2016) — The Indiana Office of Energy Development (OED) announced recently that it has awarded more than $140,000 in grants to six school districts throughout the state. The grants were awarded as part of the Indiana Office of Energy Development’s 2016 Indiana Propane School Bus grant program, an initiative to promote the use of alternative power and fuels, energy efficiency, and public education on energy issues in Indiana.
Blue Bird Vision Propane School Bus

The grants will help offset costs for the six school districts that committed to purchasing at least two new buses, and that have access to propane fueling infrastructure or show that they will have access to such infrastructure if awarded the grant. The OED says propane buses benefit the recipients by decreasing students' exposure to harmful particulate matter, lowering maintenance costs through the use of cleaner-burning propane fuel, and increasing alternative fuel diversity.

The 2016 Indiana Propane School Bus grant program recipients include:
    •    Avon Community School Corporation (20 buses)
    •    DeKalb County Central United School District (5 buses)
    •    Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township (9 buses)
    •    Southwest Allen County School (4 buses)
    •    Tippecanoe School Corporation (11 buses)
    •    West Noble School Corporation (2 buses)

The recipients are required to track data such as miles driven, fuel usage, and cost savings for one year after they begin using the new buses. Those reports will be presented to the OED quarterly from January 2017 through spring 2018.

Last January, the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township in Indianapolis unveiled 11 new propane school buses which, at the time, was the largest deployment of propane buses in the state.

Highlights from the 29th World LPG Forum & 2016 European Congress in Italy

The 29th World LPG Forum & 2016 European Congress held at the Firenze Fiera Congress and Exhibition Centre in Florence, Italy, concluded Nov. 17th, 2016. The series of events offered unparalleled networking opportunities, high quality educational and round table sessions and of course, a major global exhibition. The theme of the 2016 event was ‘A Bridge to the Future’ and the focus for discussions was global opportunities for LPG.
29thWLPGForum Mkt Outlook Panel


Key Facts and Figures from the 29th World LPG Forum:

The event was attended b approximately 1,800 total participants representing 113 countries, with 120 exhibiting companies in the Exhibition Centre.

The Top 5 countries represented were:
1) Italy,  2) France, 3) India,  4) Turkey, and,
5) United States.

“A Bridge to the Future” Forum &
Congress Highlights
:
There were many highlights of the two-day event in Florence, but most notably the main roundtable ‘The Role of LPG in the Energy Future’ chaired by Veteran BBC Journalist, Roger Harrabin, who opened the session by acknowledging the challenges the world faces in terms of trying to meet the energy needs of the future and underscored the role that LPG must play. Stephen Rennie from Calor Gas spoke about the problems of air pollution both in homes, mostly from cooking fires, and in urban areas. David Carroll from the IGU stated very clearly that LPG and natural gas are complimentary fuels and both crucial in bringing a clean-burning energy source to end users all over the world. Dan Dorner from the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that the 2016 World Energy Outlook was being launched at the same time as they were holding this session. Mr. Ercüment Polat from Aygaz stated that the term ‘disruption’ is a good word to describe the state of the energy industry right now. Joint Secretary Jindal from the Indian Ministry spoke about the Indian experience of converting millions of people from biomass to LPG under the very aggressive Modi government plan.

Additional 29th World LPG Forum Highlights:
2016 WLPGA Global Technology Conference (GTC)
WLPGA's Technical Director Nikos Xydas opened the GTC which was chaired by Ms. Grace Willis of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and Richard Hakeem of UKLPG. The GTC was held over two sessions during which nine papers, featuring some of the latest technologies impacting the LPG industry, were presented including innovative applications for LPG such as an engine fuel, and as a residential energy source, some ways to improve LPG quality and safety, and some interesting ideas involving communications, packaging and distribution.
29WLPG Forum
The GTC Awards ceremony celebrated the winner of the WLPGA Innovation Awards from GTC2015 in Singapore, Randy Erwin, of M-TriGen with his paper "LPG Powered Micro Combined Cooling Heating and Power Systems (MCCHP)." The runner up was Greg Kerr, PERC, with a paper on LPG Direct Injection Engine Research. The winners of the GTC2016 WLPGA Innovation Awards were Can Tikiroglu of Aygaz and the two runner ups were Cinch Munson of PERC, and Christophe Reimnitz of GE.

During the "Future Market Outlook," David Tyler, Projects and Business Practices Director at WLPGA, introduced Walt Hart, IHS, who moderated the session and reminded the audience that LPG is a supply driven market with many challenges. Shigeo Ishikawa from Eneos Globe described Japan's LPG business and the increasing supplies coming from the US. Rob Donaldson, Targa, described the latest news of US LPG production of which 90% originates from gas production.

Martin Ackermann, BWLPG, described the shipping scene with freight rates at historically low levels and owners operating below cost. Pak Basuki Trikora Putra, Pertamina, described Indonesia's kerosene to LPG conversion program of which succeeded in converting more than 57M users. Finally, Christophe Casabonne, Engie, described the opportunities for LPG in the power generation segments.
29th WLPG Forum 2016
The session "Safety Is No Accident" was chaired by Henry Cubbon, DCC Energy LPG. The key messages from the excellent presentations in business include HSE Leadership, safety by choice, culture change, commitment, attitude, engage and lead, and walk the talk. These messages came from three continents demonstrating that good HSE performance equally demonstrates good business performance. Excellent examples from Coral Gas, Origin and Oryx establish that improving HSE performance begins with positive leadership and with winning hearts and minds.

Ms. Nikki Brown, chaired the session "Exceptional Energy In Action," and quoted that LPG businesses would not exist without the applications, appliances and equipment that use this exceptional fuel. The session showcased some of the uses of LPG that stand out with a promising future, ranging from power generation with GE to a variety of agricultural applications with PERC. It also included several varieties of heavy duty engines in buses, trucks and trains with X-Tech, and also SNG plants with Aygaz.
29WLPG Forum2
The parallel session, "Cooking For Life Innovative Distribution Models," chaired by Mr. Yashvir Kumar Gupta, Indian Oil Corporation, started with an overview of the progress being made in India. Kalinda Magloire from SWITCH in Haiti discussed how her company is working with the Haitian diaspora in the US. Furthermore, Ms Renuka Shukla, Indian Oil Corporation and Ms Rachna Yadav, Vardaan Indane Gas gave a joint presentation outlining the aggressive campaign presently driven by the Modi government in India to convert millions of Indians from the use of biomass to LPG. Following, Alex Evans held a detailed discussion regarding the goals and positioning of the Global LPG Partnership in various markets around the world. Lastly, Ms. Tamsin Rankin, Vision in Energy (PTY) Ltd, informed the audience about the South African market and the new initiative Vision in Energy event that will be held in South Africa, May 2017.

On the Forum's second day, Michael Panas, Poten and Partners, introduced Session 4 on the "Regional Outlook for LPG" by saying that balancing LPG trade could prove challenging. The first of the five speakers on the panel was Mr. Wega Pitya, Laugfs Gas, Sri Lanka, who described the opportunities in Asia for LPG. Helen Liang, Guangdong Oil & Gas, China, described the growth of the market in China especially from petchem, and the potential retail demand. Ms Agnieszka Stochmal, AmeriGas, Poland, described the Polish LPG market and its dependence on Autogas. Then Michael Panas asked Mr Francesco Franchi, Assogasliquidi, Italy, to talk about the Italian market and he mentioned the threat from bio-mass pellets. Mr Ilya Zaymentsev, Sibur, Russia, stated that Russia produces 4.7% of the world’s LPG and outlined some of the company’s expansion programmes.
29WLPG Forum3
In Session 5: "Driving Change" Ms. Marina Terpolilli, automotive journalist and chair of the session, reminded participants of the current challenges faced by the road transport sector, with growing air pollution and climate concerns. Mr. Corrado Storchi, Landi Renzo provided an overview of the Italian market and shared some perspectives from the equipment manufacturing business on the Autogas trends. Mr. Loic Bouttier, Renault-Dacia explained the Renault-Dacia product portfolio. He also unveiled the group’s Autogas strategy. Samuel Maubanc, AEGPL presented the results of tests undertaken in real driving conditions in compliance with state-of-the-art procedures. Jeffrey Stewart, Blue Star Gas, spoke about the commercial vehicle strategy in the United States. Mr. Ercüment Polat, Aygaz explained the reasons behind the important growth of the Autogas market in Turkey.

The final session of this year's event, entitled "Good Leaders Keep Learning" was chaired by Ms. Wanjiku Manyara of Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA). Mr. Y K Gupta, Indian Oil Corporation, India, provided an overview of the LPG market on India with a focus on the government initiatives; Mr. Guilherme Netto of Ultragaz Brazil discussed the actions Ultragaz take to promote change, innovation and mobility; Ms. Lucy Cook of UKLPG, UK outlined the highly successful new integral digital marketing campaign; Mr. Gabriele Rizzo, BRC Rally Team, Italy, gave a fascinating glimpse into how Autogas is fuelling rally cars Championships; and finally Mr Claudio Leal, Prio Energy, Portugal gave an insight into Prio Energy's impressive ten year journey.

As the event drew to a close, the closing ceremony celebrated an exceptional event and welcomed both the AEGPL Congress in Lisbon (June 2017) and the 30th World LPG Forum in Marrakech (October 2017).
Your contact at WLPGA for the World LPG Forum is Esther Assous at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Your contact at AEGPL for the AEGPL Congress is Antonio Neves Costa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The organizers warmly thank all sponsors who contributed to this event.

Preliminary Injunction Halts Dept. of Labor's Overtime Rule Nationwide

On Nov. 22, 2016, Judge Amos Mazzant, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, granted a preliminary injunction successfully halting the December 1, 2016 effective date for the Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule nationwide. The preliminary injunction allows the court to stop the enforcement of this rule until there is an opportunity for complete consideration of the case brought by several business group plaintiffs and 21 states.
The injunction temporarily delays the effective date until the court reviews the lawsuit and makes a decision.  The delay is a procedural measure; it does not suggest that the court will decide against DOL on the regulation. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict how long the delay will last.  At any time the judge could remove the injunction and set a new effective date. The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) is closely monitoring activity on the regulation and will provide updates on developments. 

The Overtime Rule modifies the parameters of the Executive, Administration, and Professionals Exemption ("EAP Exemption") to the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The 21 states filed the lawsuit in Texas to challenge the agency's modifications to the rule.  NPGA provides a general Fact Sheet on the final rule through the membership portal of the NPGA website.
US Dept Labor graphic

Due to the rule’s fast-approaching effective date, it was expected for the judge to rule quickly, however the preliminary injunction will allow for the schedule of this case to slow down considerably. The court has been provided with the necessary information to make a permanent injunction, but it is unclear at this time what action will be taken next by the court, Congress or the Trump administration in regards to the overtime rule.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently reported that canceling the overtime changes would benefit consumers by avoiding price increases that would come if companies had to pay their workers more. Real family income would be $2.1 billion higher without the changes in 2017 alone, and families that would have had an increase in overtime earnings would have a net gain. While CBO estimated that the new rules would extend overtime eligibility to an additional 3.9 million workers, it found that only about 900,000 of those employees currently work enough hours to actually receive overtime pay, or 0.6 percent of the U.S. workforce. And those workers would make only an extra $650 a year, the CBO found.

Research conducted for the National Retail Federation (NRF) by Oxford Economics found that the new overtime regulations would force employers to limit hours or cut base pay in order to make up for added payroll costs, leaving most workers with no increase in take-home pay despite added administrative costs. A separate survey found that the majority of retail managers and assistant managers the regulations are supposed to help oppose the plan, citing losses in schedule flexibility, benefits and professional development opportunities that would come with switching from salaried to hourly positions.

The lawsuit brought by more than 50 business organizations argues that both the $47,476 annual minimum salary for workers to be exempt from overtime set by the new overtime rules – more than double the current level – and the automatic increase in that amount every three years, exceed the Labor Department’s statutory authority under the Fair Labor Standards Act and are in violation of the intent of Congress.

(SOURCE: NPGA, Kentucky Propane Gas Association)

Power Solutions International (PSI) Named GM’s Alternative-Fuel Vehicle Modifier in North America

WOOD DALE, Ill. (Nov. 21, 2016) — General Motors (GM) has selected Power Solutions International (PSI) (NASDAQ:PSIX) as its alternative-fuel specialty vehicle modifier in North America. The agreement authorizes PSI to perform alternative-fuel conversions, including propane (LPG) autogas, and natural gas (CNG) options, on a range of GM specialty vehicles for fleet, commercial and retail markets.
PSI Power Sol Intl Logo

GM vehicles covered by the agreement include Silverado and Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD pickup trucks, Express and Savana passenger vans, cargo vans and commercial cutaway vehicles, and low cab forward 3500HD and 4500HD trucks. PSI plans to begin taking orders before the first of the year 2017.

"We're very excited about this latest agreement with GM and the on-road opportunities that it unlocks for us," said Gary Winemaster, PSI's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "It demonstrates GM's confidence in PSI and makes us an integral part of its renewed effort in the alternative-fuel pickup, van, cutaway and light-duty truck markets. We're also positioned to get in on the ground floor as an up-fitter for GM's reentry into the medium-duty truck business."

PSI's history with GM dates back to 1996, and includes hundreds of thousands of engines placed into industrial and on-road OEM applications. In 2013, the two companies signed a multi-year supply agreement enabling PSI to sell GM 4.8-liter and 6.0-liter engines and 4L90E transmissions to on-road markets. The new collaboration represents another major step in PSI's growing on-road business, extending its reach to passenger and light-duty Class 2 and 3 pickups, vans and cutaways in addition to the Class 4-7 trucks and buses that it already outfits.

Mr. Winemaster noted that PSI was chosen because it met all of GM's needs in terms of alternative-fuel experience, market expertise and business model fit, now and looking to the future. PSI has built a solid track record with a wide variety of fuels in industrial and on-road applications, while demonstrating an ability to adapt to changing market conditions and opportunities. To strengthen its on-road position, the company purchased Bi-Phase Technologies in 2015 in order to take advantage of its patented leak-proof injector technology for propane fuel systems. Overall, PSI's nimbler business model will enable it to cost-effectively tackle small and medium-sized markets.

Under the new agreement, GM customers will be able to maintain their OEM powertrain warranties with the PSI alternative-fuel conversions, a considerable value that no other aftermarket provider can offer. PSI will be the point of sale company for the fuel conversion systems including components, such as injectors, tanks, electronics and harnessing. It will be responsible for the validation and EPA / CARB certification for the converted vehicles, as well as warranty, service and aftermarket sales for the conversions.

"PSI has years of design knowledge and experience working with GM engines and controls. We know we can provide the level of quality GM demands from all of its products," said Winemaster. "We've also invested and developed our own proprietary, certified CNG on-road fuel systems and engine controls, which situates us well for upcoming 2018 certification requirements."

Winemaster explained that these requirements will make it much more difficult for other aftermarket alternative-fuel system providers to avoid costly certification investments. The costs, which can run into millions of dollars, may be too prohibitive for many providers to meet.

Alternative-fuel conversions are increasingly attractive for a growing number of companies with sustainability goals and commitments, businesses in states with favorable incentives and initiatives related to alternative fuels like California, and for sectors such as utilities, which have already invested in alternative-fuel infrastructure.

"We see fleets looking for vertically integrated alternative-fuel engine solutions where solutions can come from one provider. That is what PSI can provide. This puts us in a good position to become a market leader in the industry," said Winemaster.

For more information on PSI and its products, visit http://www.psiengines.com

About Power Solutions International, Inc. 

Power Solutions International, Inc. (PSI or the Company) is a leader in the design, engineer and manufacture of emissions-certified, alternative-fuel power systems. PSI provides integrated turnkey solutions to leading global original equipment manufacturers in the industrial and on-road markets. The Company's unique in-house design, prototyping, engineering and testing capacities allow PSI to customize clean, high-performance engines that run on a wide variety of fuels, including natural gas, propane, biogas, gasoline and diesel.

PSI develops and delivers complete industrial power systems that are used worldwide in stationary and mobile power generation applications supporting standby, prime, and Co-generation power (CHP) applications; mobile industrial applications that include forklifts, aerial lifts, industrial sweepers, aircraft ground support, arbor, agricultural and construction equipment. In addition, PSI develops and delivers power systems purpose built for the Class 3 through Class 7 medium duty trucks and buses for the North American and Asian markets.  For more information on PSI, visit www.psiengines.com.

(SOURCE: GLOBE NEWSWIRE)