Monarch Beverage Company, Indiana's largest beer and wine distributor, announced plans to convert 85 percent of their fleet to CNG and to build an on-site compressed natural gas fueling station. The compressed natural gas project is part of an ongoing effort to incorporate economically and environmentally sustainable operations into company practices.
Lawrence Mayor Dean Jessup joined Monarch Beverage executives, family members and project partners Cummins Westport, Citizens Energy, Kenworth and Proliance in announcing the CNG project.
"As a family-owned Hoosier company we are excited to partner with such innovative companies to strengthen the presence of compressed natural gas powered vehicles in Indiana," said Phil Terry, CEO at Monarch Beverage. "The conversion and fueling station enable us to take advantage of an abundant, cleaner domestic fuel."
The innovative partnership began October 2011 with Beta testing on a 12.0 L/400 HP Cummins Westport engine. The official conversion of the Monarch Beverage fleet from diesel to CNG began in September 2012. Once complete, nearly 100 Monarch Beverage trucks will run on CNG. The compressed natural gas station is slated to be complete by March 15, 2013.
"Cummins Westport is pleased to partner with Monarch and provide them with natural gas engines, which are a clean, safe and an economically efficient engine option," said Jim Arthurs, President, Cummins Westport, Inc. "This partnership demonstrates our commitment to the communities we serve and our commitment to creating a cleaner, healthier and safer environment. Cummins Westport is a leader in natural gas engines and we are thrilled to offer this technology to another great business here in Central Indiana."
The CNG project will cost approximately $7.6 million, a cost that Senior Vice President Fred Dufour is calling an investment.
"The initial financial investment involved in the CNG conversion is significant, but the long-term financial and environment benefits merit the switch," said Fred Dufour. "The conversion will reduce our diesel consumption by close to 1 million gallons annually - reducing fuel prices approximately 60% and our greenhouse emissions by an estimated 22%."
"Monarch Beverage is a leader in the beverage industry as they transition their on-road fleet to natural gas," noted Andy Douglas, national sales manager for specialty markets at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, Wash. "The company's fleet already operates 27 Kenworth T440 natural gas vehicles, and is looking to add a significant number of Kenworth T800s equipped with the new Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine in 2013. For the past year, Monarch Beverage has tested this new engine in a Kenworth T660 and provided useful feedback to Kenworth and Cummins regarding its capabilities."
"Citizens Energy Group is pleased to see yet another CNG fleet conversion in central Indiana," said Mike Strohl, Vice President of Customer Relationships. "Market shifts in the long-term supply of natural gas and expectations for stable natural gas prices makes CNG an excellent low-cost alternative to traditional fueling systems. We are pleased to see Monarch Beverage taking a leadership position in the Indianapolis market."
"Congratulations to Monarch Beverage for leading this green innovation in Lawrence," said Lawrence Mayor Jessup. "Monarch's continued success reveals Pendleton Pike to be a premier location for business in central Indiana."
The tractors are one of the first CNG tractor fleets to hit the secondary market in the country.