Two weeks ago, on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento, with representatives of the Governor’s office involved, Oberon Fuels, Volvo Trucks North America, and Safeway Inc. (the CA-based food giant) announced a partnership to demonstrate clean-burning DME as an alternative to diesel fuel in commercial trucking in the San Joaquin Valley. They have received a $500,000 grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to help support the project.
Oberon Fuels is the first company to bring DME to North America – producing it in an innovative small-scale production facility model that allows for usage of regional feedstocks like animal waste, food scraps and stranded natural gas. The regional model also supports local job growth and clean air initiatives, as well as a viable economic structure that allows for capital expenditure in sync with market growth – it really hits the triple bottom line concept of social, economic and environmental responsibility, and shows how alternative fuels will actually gain traction.
At the press conference, Volvo Trucks announced plans to commercialize DME trucks in North America by 2015. On June 20th Mack Trucks also announced plans to commercialize DME trucks. The commercial trucking press is active on the story – 30% of the particulate matter in our atmosphere is caused by commercial trucking – trucks going green is a big deal!