Last updated: March 23. 2014 11:34PM - 3476 Views
By Jon O’Connell joconnell@civitasmedia.com

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PITTSTON TWP. — A California-based company is making plans to build Luzerne County’s first natural gas vehicle fueling station.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp., based in Newport Beach, Calif., won a $1.17 million Alternative and Clean Energy Grant to build a LCNG station that is to sell compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the public.

The nearest public-access CNG station is in Allentown and the nearest LNG station is in Connecticut, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Clean Energy Fuels owns more than 500 LCNG stations around the country, company spokesman Patric Rayburn said in an email.

The company plans to complete construction by the end of the year at 121 Armstrong Road in Pittston Township, Rayburn said.

LNG is to be delivered to the station from the company’s suppliers in the region and, for those who need CNG, it will be vaporized using pressurization pumps, Rayburn said.

“Clean Energy is a pioneer in CNG and LNG vehicle fueling, and we’re excited to add Pittston (Township) to our nationwide network stations,” he said.

Per the grant, Clean Energy must front at least half of the cost to pay for construction and has committed to $1.75 million, according to a news release from state Sen. John Yudichak’s office.

Armstrong Road is near the CenterPoint industrial park off state Route 315, and Rayburn said Clean Energy currently is in talks with several area trucking companies, and the company is confident the market will be ready when the pumps go online. The station also is to serve passenger vehicles.

“This station will have CNG capability, which means everything from a Honda Civic natural gas vehicle all the way up to an 18-wheeler will be able to fuel up,” Rayburn said.

The station will have the capacity to dispense 1.3 million equivalent diesel gallons of natural gas per year, according to Yudichak’s news release.

Rayburn said the company will seek contracts with local vendors to build the station.

In an unrelated event, more grants were doled out last week for Pennsylvania haulers to make the switch to natural gas vehicles, with one company from Luzerne County and another from Lackawanna County.

Gov. Tom Corbett’s office announced Friday about $7.7 million in grants funded by impact fees to natural gas drillers under the Act 13 law, was spread across the state.

The money was given through the Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant program.

• L.T. Verrastro, an Old Forge beer distributor, was granted $416,110 to buy 20 CNG-powered trucks.

• In Luzerne County, Schneider Resources, was granted $150,000 to buy six CNG trucks.

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