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Westport Innovations sees stock spike on Caterpillar deal

Westport Innovations CEO David Demers says the company's deal with Caterpillar will open a

Westport Innovations CEO David Demers says the company's deal with Caterpillar will open a "whole new market opportunity".
Vancouver-based cleantech player Westport Innovations (TSX:WPT) today announced it has signed agreements with Caterpillar to co-develop natural gas technology for off-road equipment, including mining trucks and locomotives.

Caterpillar spokesman Steve Fisher says the company hopes to be a leader in natural gas and plans to offer a full line of natural gas machines and equipment using Westport’s high-pressure direct-injection (HPDI) technology.

Shares of Westport were up significantly on the news today, providing welcome relief for shareholders who have watched the company’s stock slide from more than $48 in March to recent lows near $23. The company’s revenue is climbing; its recently reported Q1, 2012 saw topline numbers rise 132% to $88.6-million from just $38.1-million in the same period last year. But Westport is still losing money, Q1’s loss of $22.6-million (U.S.) was typical of recent quarters.


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Westport CEO David Demers, however, says the Caterpillar deal is significant for the company: “We are working with the global leader in engines, locomotives and off-road equipment to develop an attractive natural gas offering for their customers” he said in a press release today, adding: “The substantial price difference between natural gas and diesel fuel is resulting in a strong financial incentive to enable off-road applications to take advantage of low natural gas energy costs without sacrificing operational performance. There is also a clear environmental incentive because of the reduced carbon emissions. Adding to the solid business case for this program is the potential to convert existing field units to natural gas — opening up a whole new market opportunity.”

At press time, shares of Westport Innovations on the TSX were up 21.3% to 28.08.



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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.
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