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Maintenance facility services

Natural gas vehicle maintenance and facility safety

Natural gas vehicles have similar maintenance costs compared to diesel vehicles. The maintenance interval is typically the same, although the maintenance tasks may differ. Fleet operators must also consider the requirements of their maintenance facilities in servicing those vehicles.​

 CNG and LNG maintenance facility services


Leading the way to safe operations

Safety standards are available for compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelling stations both in the US and Canada, but safety standards for CNG and liquefied natural gas (LNG) maintenance facilities in Canada are not well developed. Due to this lack of comprehensive standards and requirements, we’ve developed a guideline for fleet operators in BC. Entitled Safety upgrades for maintenance facilities servicing commercial fleet CNG/LNG vehicles, this guideline is designed to help fleet operators understand the process of and costs associated with maintenance facility conversions or upgrades when transitioning to natural gas for transportation.

Planning for safety

While this guideline will help fleet operators understand the various aspects of the process, it is not intended to replace professional evaluation, experience and detailed design for facility upgrades. For a maintenance facility to safely service CNG and/or LNG vehicles, four key safety elements should be established by the facility operator:
  • prevent combustible mixtures
  • prevent ignition sources
  • prepare for an emergency
  • maintain all safety systems

Facility safety upgrade requirements provide for gas detection linked to emergency ventilation and electrical isolation. The extent of the upgrade will depend on the planned operations of the maintenance facility and whether the vehicles will be fuelled by CNG, LNG or both.

The guideline distinguishes between minor and major repair operations. Facilities that conduct major vehicle repairs require more extensive upgrades due to the increased risk of gas release and exposure to ignition sources. More extensive upgrades are also required for facilities servicing LNG vehicles due to the increased risk of an undetected gas leak since LNG is not odourized.

While retrofitting an existing facility is feasible, it’s more cost effective to design a facility for CNG/LNG operations while it’s in the planning and design phase. Requirements for an existing facility upgrade are the same for new facilities, but the incremental cost of upgrading to suitable equipment is small compared to the cost of replacing equipment. And the additional cost for engineering and project management can be minimized. By giving appropriate consideration to building design and construction methods, safety systems can maximize efficiency.


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