Alaska Propane Technical Summit Wraps Up on North Slope

ROUSH experts estimate around 4 million gallons of propane surface every day on the North Slope. (image: westvalleylibrary.pbworks.com)

The Alaska Propane Technical Summit kicked off on Tuesday as engineers, transportation professionals, government officials, and fleet representatives gathered to evaluate new technology from ROUSH CleanTech, a leading manufacturer of propane autogas fuel systems, the Juneau Empire reported. The summit also seeks to educate participants on the advantages of converting vehicles to propane.

‘Pro followers are no strangers to ROUSH’s work. The company has been working with Ford Motor Co. and the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) since 2006, developing autogas fuel systems for a range of Ford vehicles. They’ve helped numerous companies across the country convert their fleets.

“One of ROUSH’s big focuses has been in Alaska because it will make such a big difference,” said Harold Heinz, CEO of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority. “In this case, (ROUSH) have been perfecting the technology of automotive engines running on propane and they’ve married that to very standard truck design.”

Alaska’s North Slope is a formidable natural resource containing vast amounts of propane. Rather than importing gasoline and diesel, summit participants discussed ways to extract the domestic propane for regional use, saving time, money and unnecessary pollution.

With that in mind, for the past nine months ROUSH has been testing two F-250 pickup trucks to gauge performance in Alaska’s notorious winter weather. Officials unveiled the pleasing results at the summit:

“These trucks are performance workhorses, even in the harshest Alaska weather conditions,” said ROUSH vice president Todd Mouw. “Propane autogas is the perfect ‘zero compromise’ alternative fuel solution for fleets looking for a fuel that’s readily available, environmentally friendly and economical – without sacrificing horsepower and performance. Propane autogas could become an export product and job creation source in Alaska.”

Even better, propane autogas easily meets the federal air regulations requiring all fleets to use ultra-low-sulfur diesel. Autogas emits significantly less greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide than gasoline, and is far more accessible in Alaska than diesel.

“This is an easy choice. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel costs $5 per gallon or more to truck up to the slope,” Mouw added. “These fleets can save well over $4 per gallon by switching to an Alaskan resource that is produced right on the slope.”