Officials tour Florida East Coast natural gas facilities

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., — Florida East Coast Railway provided an exclusive tour of its liquid natural gas operations at its Jacksonville facility this week. Tour participants came from a wide range of industries, including marine, rail, mining, power generation operations. It was a varied group, with attendees traveling from as far as Columbia, Japan, South Korea, and Canada to attend. The tour was part of the annual Natural Gas for High Horse Power summit, which was held in downtown Jacksonville Nov. 6 to 9.

The tour included several demonstration stations where FEC’s natural gas experts were available to answer questions to attendees on the various aspects of its use of the fuel. The stations included two LNG-powered locomotives with tender car between, fueling station, ISO container, LNG tanker delivery trailer, LNG-powered truck, and a tour of the railway’s historic business cars.

“We are proud to be the first North American Railroad to operate its entire mainline fleet on LNG," said Fran Chinnici, chief operating officer. “We hope that our efforts will help other railroads and industries with this paradigm shift.”

FEC gave an overview of the fueling process as well. The locomotives use an LNG “kit” that allows for dual fuel capabilities. FEC’s LNG-Diesel engine technology burns 80 percent less diesel fuel, resulting in an 80 percent reduction in nitrous oxide emissions. Natural gas also gives off roughly half the carbon dioxide emissions as coal when burned for electricity, and little to no emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides or particulate matter.

FEC Railway pioneered the use of LNG as an alternative to diesel for its locomotives as a key part of its overall sustainability objective. Natural gas is abundant, clean burning and economical. Compared to diesel fuel, it reduces locomotive emissions and helps improve the environmental quality of the railway’s operations.

FEC has been operating on LNG since late 2015 and completed the conversion of its entire mainline thru-haul fleet to run on fuel-efficient LNG this year. Its regional trucking business, Raven Transport, also uses LNG and converted 44 percent of its fleet to run on the fuel. As of October 2017, FEC completed over 2,300 trips traveling more than 850K miles while consuming more than 2.7 million gallons of LNG.

Rail transportation creates a virtual pipeline for LNG. FEC Railway is beginning to explore additional opportunities around the transport of LNG as a commodity. Working under authority provided by Federal Railroad Administration the railway is currently moving LNG containers between New Fortress Energy’s liquification plant in Hialeah and PortMiami and Port Everglades, in Florida.

See the original release online.

— A Florida East Coast Railway news release. Nov. 15, 2017.
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