8 March 2001
Vancouver, BC-based Westport Innovations Inc. announced it formed a 50/50 joint-venture with Cummins Inc. to develop and market low emission diesel-natural gas dual fuel engines.
Under the agreement, Westport will contribute its high-pressure direct injection (HPDI) technology for use on Cummins engines for on-highway vehicles, industrial and power generation applications. Cummins will manufacture the engines that will be exclusively distributed and serviced by the Cummins distribution system. The joint venture is headquartered in Vancouver, with a board of directors consisting of three representatives from Cummins and three representatives from Westport.
For the first three years of the joint venture, Westport will contribute capital that will be required and is prepared, under the agreement, to invest up to US$50,000,000 over that period of time.
Westport develops a dual fuel system in which, contrary to the fumigated systems currently on the market, natural gas is injected directly to the engine cylinder, along with a pilot stream of diesel fuel which facilitates compression ignition of the mixture. One of the key components of the system is the dual fuel injector developed by Westport. The development aims at maintaining the superior diesel engine performance while burning a high proportion of natural gas in the fuel.