Omnitek Engineering Corporation announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the company’s submission for its diesel-to-natural gas conversion technology for the line of heavy-duty Navistar DT466E and DT530E engines under specific criteria related to the agency’s Outside Useful Life definition.

The DT466E and DT530E engines were produced in 130 different configurations from 1996 through 2003, representing an estimated addressable market of 1.5 million potential conversions. Industry sources estimate the total number of heavy-duty diesel trucks in the United States exceeds eight million, and the majority of these trucks could benefit from Omnitek’s patented technology.

“Approval of our technology by the EPA represents a significant milestone for the company, and we anticipate tremendous domestic demand to convert diesel truck and bus engines to operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), or renewable biogas,” said Werner Funk, president and chief executive officer of Omnitek.

He noted that Omnitek’s technology has been used outside the United States since 2001, with more than 5,000 engine conversions currently in operation.

“During the 20-year life span of diesel engines, routine overhauls are required and service budgets established in advance. By converting these diesel engines to operate on natural gas during a routine engine overhaul, truck operators can realize a significant return on investment, with much lower fuel costs and cleaner combustion,” Funk said. He emphasized the cost benefits of conversions versus new engine replacement, as well as the limited availability of new natural gas truck and bus engines to meet pent-up and future demand.