Visitors to the Caterpillar MINExpo exhibit had the opportunity to learn more about the company’s strategic direction for natural-gas powered products. A portion of the exhibit was devoted to the Cat liquefied natural gas (LNG) product initiative. Experts were on site to talk about how customers can achieve economic benefits with LNG-powered mining equipment and locomotives.
Chris Curfman, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the mining sales and support Division, said demand for natural-gas powered equipment is growing worldwide.
“Natural gas is a clean burning, economical fuel that is readily available to the majority of our mining customers worldwide,” he said. “LNG-powered products promise to reduce our customers’ fuel costs. As a result, we look forward to being able to offer this option to the global mining community.”
The company’s first LNG-powered products are expected to include three large mining trucks — the Cat 793, 795 and 797 — as well as locomotives produced by Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), a subsidiary of Progress Rail Services, a Caterpillar company.
According to Luis De Leon, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Mining Products Division, the large trucks are in the early stages of development with commercial launch expected within five years.
Development of the new locomotives also is under way and should be completed in the same timeframe said Billy Ainsworth, a vice president of Caterpillar and president and CEO of Progress Rail and its subsidiaries.