Ozinga Brothers more than open to GE’s CNG In A Box

The leader in compressed natural gas-fueled mixer truck operation—110 rear and front discharge vehicles to date—Ozinga Brothers Inc. has stepped up fueling infrastructure work to accelerate a fleet migration from diesel to CNG power, and support a new venture, Ozinga Energy, LLC.

Current construction plans will see the Mokena, Ill.-based ready mixed producer deploy three of GE Energy’s new CNG In A Box natural gas compressor and supply units over a May–December 2013 schedule. The manufacturer unveiled the unit in fall 2012 as a “plug-and-play, on-site station” affording large- and small-scale users easy adoption of natural gas refueling options. Ozinga Bros. installed its first CNG In A Box at headquarters in May, configuring it to supply dedicated mixer refueling stations, plus an adjacent Ozinga Energy station for trucks and automobiles. The Mokena business is well sited and timed: Located right off Interstate 80, it adds to what is thus far a patchwork of retail sites critical to CNG-powered vehicle owners and operators routing business or leisure trips by fuel availability.
Ozinga Energy spans retail ventures, plus internal and external construction and engineering services for CNG fueling infrastructure. Following the Mokena plant deployment, it has turned to foundation and supply line preliminaries at the Ozinga Bros. Indiana flagship in Gary, where the company has taken delivery of 30 Oshkosh F-Series front discharge mixers converted to run on CNG power. McNeilus Cos. recently announced an Oshkosh glider program to change out Cummins ISM diesel engines for Cummins Westport ISL G natural gas models.
The F-Series gliders join 80 rear discharge CNG-powered models—McNeilus Ngen mounted on Kenworth W900s—Ozinga Bros. has added to its fleet since late 2011. About six months into a 15-Ngen trial, the company announced a seven- to eight-year, diesel-to-CNG power conversion for a fleet of 500-plus mixer trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles. “Once we began operating CNG trucks, we quickly realized the value of adding natural gas fuel to our operations because it’s abundant and affordable,” says Marty Ozinga IV, president of the fourth-generation family-owned company. “This is one more step on the path to achieving energy independence and expanding the use of alternative energy.”
The first 30 CNG mixers were based at the main Chicago ready mixed plant, near downtown. Ozinga Bros. announced the Energy venture during a September 2012 open house, demonstrating both a refueling lot where mixer drivers hook up hoses at the end of their work days, plus a station open to fleet customers with accounts and Ozinga Energy credit cards. The plant is equipped with a compressor and fueling infrastructure pre-dating CNG In A Box. That unit’s availability coincided with an ambitious 2013 ramp up of fueling infrastructure Ozinga Bros. planned to pace new McNeilus Ngen and Oshkosh F-Series glider deliveries.
After Ozinga Energy crews complete the Gary installation—mixer truck fuel lot plus Mokena-styled retail station—by late summer, they will prepare for a third CNG In A Box delivery at their sister company’s ready mixed plant in Des Plaines, Ill. That operation will also combine in-house and retail refueling. Beyond GE Energy, Ozinga Bros. has enlisted GE Capital to finance the fuel infrastructure and fleet upgrade and diesel-to-CNG power migration. — GE Energy, Sean Gannon, 212/587-5059; www.geenergy.com/solutions