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    PROPANE EDUCATION & RESEARCH COUNCIL|
    Request for Proposals to Develop Training Materials for the Proper Maintenance and
    Repair of Stationary Propane Engines in Agriculture
    Posted August 10, 2007

     

    Download PERC Issues Request for Proposals to Develop Training Materials for the Proper Maintenance and Repair of Stationary Propane Engines in Agriculture 

     

    General Information

    The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a non-profit 501(c) 6 trade organization authorized by the Propane Education and Research Act of 1996 (PERA), Public Law 104-284.  PERC was created “to enhance consumer and employee safety and training, to provide for research and development of clean and efficient propane utilization equipment, and to inform and educate the public about safety and other issues associated with the use of propane.”   This Request for Proposals (RFP) is not subject to any federal or state procurement law or regulation.

    A 21-member Board of Directors appointed by the National Propane Gas Association and the Gas Processors Association governs PERC.

    Background

    Low-operating cost, clean-burning properties, and long-term storability make propane engines a popular choice for stationary power in agriculture.  USDA reports there are approximately 18,000 propane-fueled engines operating irrigation pumps today.  There are thousands more propane engines powering livestock water pumps, generators, wind machines, or aeration pumps and other agriculture applications.  Obviously it’s critical to properly maintain these engines to keep them at peak performance.  While the core internal combustion engines have many things in common regardless of fuel type, the fuel systems themselves are quite different. Propane’s unique properties require special fuel system components.  Most engine technicians are trained to service and repair diesel or gasoline engine fuel systems, which leaves a need for supplemental training materials to educate technicians on propane and propane fuel systems so they can adequately service the propane engine market. 

    A lack of familiarity with propane engine systems and a concern that service support will not be available is a barrier to increased adoption of propane-fueled power systems.  Developing training materials covering propane properties, fuel system components, and basic maintenance is a logical first step in clearing this hurdle.

    Much of the source content for the proposed manual has already been produced through various propane industry publications, including the Forklift Maintenance and Training Program and the Certified Employee Training Program.  The proposed project will mostly consist of repurposing these existing materials for the intended audience with some new development required as well.

    Project Overview – Scope of Work

    The objective of this proposal is to develop comprehensive educational materials addressing the proper maintenance of stationary propane engines in agriculture.

    Potential list of topics:

    • Propane safety
    • Propane properties
    • Propane storage
    • Propane fuel system components
    • Maintenance and repair
    • Exhaust emissions

    The winning applicant will be contracted to lead the development of comprehensive training materials that are suitable for infusion into post secondary courses and technical schools curriculum.  The materials will also be used to provide in-service training to working professionals. 

    The basic content is expected to be similar to PERC’s Forklift Maintenance and Training Program, but repurposed, enhanced, and updated as appropriate to address stationary propane power systems most typically found operating irrigation pumps on U.S. farms.

    Interested responders should design a comprehensive package that includes materials that facilitate instructor and student learning.  Minimum expectations are the development of a student manual and evaluation(s) for print distribution.  Ancillary materials may include instructor materials such as PowerPoint presentations, hand outs, or laboratory activities. The cost to develop this entire package may be broken down into essential and optional components.

    The final delivery of camera-ready educational materials will be the end product of this project.  Interested contractors should budget for a multi-stage review process that includes input from a task force of propane industry volunteers, PERC staff, and legal counsel.  PERC will budget separately for costs associated with legal review.

    Applicants should include in their proposal costs to cover travel to one propane industry meeting to meet with task force members or to present results.  PERC will provide information and assistance to the selected contractor as appropriate.

     

    Qualifications

    The successful contractor will have a demonstrated ability to develop technical content in a format suitable for use in educational settings.  A proper balance of writing, editing, and desktop publishing ability is a must.  These skills should be balanced with technical knowledge of engines and propane fuel systems to complete a strong project team.  

    Matching funds and in-kind contributions are not required however they may strengthen the proposal by providing additional value.

    PERC anticipates that proposals will be pre-screened in October – November 2007, with a contract awarded in December 2007.  Time of completion is expected to be one year or less.

     

    Other Requirements

    Responding proposals must include the following administrative specifications:

    1. The contractor will submit a proposed budget covering the entire project period on a separate budget page.  The proposed budget will provide a cost breakdown in sufficient detail by the following cost categories, where applicable:
      • Personnel
        • Wage rates, salaried rates, hourly rates, etc.
        • Briefly specify the duties of the professionals to be compensated under this project.
        • State the total amount of compensation for each position for the total project.
      • Fringe Benefits
        • Explain how the fringe benefit rate is computed and what base (i.e., labor costs or labor hours, or other) it is applied to.
      • Administrative
        • General and administrative overhead, facilities capital cost of money, etc.
      • Travel
      • Supplies
        • Itemize supplies as to the types, quantities, unit price, and total price. 
      • Contractual
        • Describe the purpose of each sub-recipient/subcontractor and why they are required.
      • Other (must detail)
    2. The contractor will include a description of the background and qualifications of all subject matter experts and individuals that would be performing the work.
    3. The contractor will provide a client list and completed project list.  Documented experience in producing and supporting a similar project is highly desired.


    Notices

    1. Given the various skill sets and requirements surrounding this RFP, PERC may divide the work between more than one vendor.  In so doing, PERC may elect to designate one offeror as the general contractor and other(s) as sub-contractor(s).
    2. PERC, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to not award to any contract on the proposals received.
    3. PERC may request additional information from any offeror.
    4. Neither this RFP nor the submission of any proposal creates any contract or obligation on the part of PERC.
    5. Should PERC identify a proposal(s) suitable for award, the offeror(s) will be required to sign a written agreement for the services sought.  This contract will be an indefinite quantity contract which will permit PERC to order the successful offeror(s)’ review of as few as one program.  The quantity ordered beyond the minimum set forth in any resulting contract shall be at the discretion of PERC.
    6. PERC will not accept any information in any proposal that is designated confidential or proprietary or contains confidential or proprietary information.  PERC cannot and will not guarantee that should such information be submitted that it would be maintained as confidential.  Should an offeror’s desire to submit proprietary or confidential information, it should contact PERC in advance to discuss whether and how such information may be effectively submitted.

     

    Additional Information

    Please send all questions regarding this request for proposals in writing via email to Mark Leitman at mark.leitman@propanecouncil.org.

    For copies of the following PERC documents, please visit our website at www.propanecouncil.org:

    • Propane Education and Research Act
    • Fact sheets
    • Propane Agriculture Roadmap

    Submitting Proposals

    Proposals are required to be contained in a single file and must be sent in electronic Microsoft Word format to mark.leitman@propanecouncil.org.  Proposals are due to Mark Leitman or by physical delivery to PERC’s office no later than noon Eastern Daylight Time on September 28, 2007.   A disk may be express mailed to:

    Mark Leitman, Director of Agriculture Programs
    Propane Education & Research Council
    1140 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1075
    Washington, DC 20036
    202-452-8975 (phone)