The Slow, but Consistent Rollout of CNG

Retailer, municipal investments adding more fueling options across the country

Published in CSP Daily News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Kum & Go officials said they will build two compressed-natural-gas stations in 2014. Hutchinson Oil will begin bringing CNG to its stores in Kansas this year. Meanwhile, various municipal-supported CNG fueling stations are being opened to the public.

The moves are all part of a slow but consistent rollout of the alternative motor-vehicle fueling option crossing the country via both retailers and local governments.

Here, CSP Daily News offers a digest of some recent moves.

  • Kum & Go officials aren’t ready to announce where their CNG sites will be added, but the addition of the alternative fuel continue the West Des Moines, Iowa-based convenience store chain’s strategy of embracing environmentally friendly store design.

Over the past few years, Kum & Go has brought biofuels, recycling bins and green building materials to its stores, as well as using solar panels to generate electricity.

“Sustainability aligns with Kum & Go’s core values of caring, excellence, integrity, passion and teamwork,” the company says on its website. “We also demonstrate our commitment to sustainable practices through our leadership in four key areas, including being resourceful, renewable, responsible, and restorative.”

Kum & Go was awarded a CSP Environmental Stewardship Award in 2012.

  • Hutchinson Oil Co. is adding CNG fueling capacity at its convenience store in Liberal, Kan., the company's first CNG station outside of Oklahoma, according to a Leader & Times report.

Hutchinson Oil, which owns the Hutch’s stores, said the new CNG infrastructure will likely be online by the end of the month.

“We’re looking at … really creating a market for [CNG],” Kurtis Hutchinson told the newspaper. “There’s enough people in the Liberal community that are interested in it that we think we can build up a market.”

The company also operates two CNG refueling locations in Elk City, Okla., and one in Woodward, Okla.

Regional utility Black Hills Energy will be supplying the pipeline gas to Hutch's new station in Liberal.

  • A compressed-natural-gas station is now open in Little Rock, Ark., according to a KTHV report.

Initially, the station will provide fuel for Little Rock’s fleet services. It will then be opened to the public in February. The city will pay $1 to $1.15 per gallon, and the public will pay about $1.50, according to the report.

Other CNG stations in the state include one in North Little Rock, two in Conway, one in Damascus, one in Fort Smith and one in Jonesboro.

  • A CNG fueling station in Tampa, Fla., is now accessible to the public for the first time, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times.

Trillium CNG, in partnership with Dillon Transport and Mosaic, opened the area's first public compressed natural gas station in November. The companies teamed up to build the station after converting about 100 Dillon Transport trucks to CNG, Nick Saban, Dillon's terminal leader, told the newspaper.

The fleet services Mosaic in both cities, hauling more than 500 loads a day of raw materials like sulfuric acid and lime dust. Converting to CNG will save money and reduce pollution, Saban said.

"From an environmental standpoint, natural gas is domestically produced and we have an abundance of it--over 100 years' worth," Saban said. "From a price standpoint, it's a much more stable fuel than diesel."