Little Rock CNG Station Will Bring Total To 7 in Arkansas

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 12:00 am  

Early in February, the city of Little Rock is scheduled to open the seventh compressed natural gas station in Arkansas that is available for public use.

Compressed natural gas has been used for vehicles for years, but it’s now becoming more viable with its low price — shows Arkansas’ stations selling the fuel at the equivalent of about $1.50 per gallon of gasoline — and with government incentives available for companies considering making the change.

The U.S. Department of Energy lists 644 public stations in the nation, with many states having just a handful (Alaska, Delaware and Vermont each have a single station) and others having dozens (New York has 36, Utah 43 and California 142).

Arkansas has had public CNG stations for just a few years — a station owned by Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp. was opened in 2011. (See slideshow.) Most of the stations are owned by gas companies or municipalities.

Their clients tend to be the companies’ or cities’ own vehicles, but some were built with the idea that other customers would be able to use them as well.

“The city of Little Rock built their station primarily for themselves, but I know they have a lot of interest from companies like AT&T who made a commitment to convert a certain amount of their vehicles,” said Mitchell Simpson, outreach and training manager at the Arkansas Energy Office.

Of the public stations, one is intended solely for mass consumer use: Satterfield Oil Corp.’s facility on Oak Street in Conway. Gov. Mike Beebe attended that station’s opening in September.

“They at one point were going to service Southwestern Energy and some other fleets,” Simpson said. “But Southwestern ended up developing their own station to service their own fleets instead.”

Simpson said Frito-Lay’s station in Jonesboro also services some of the other manufacturing companies in the town.

There are three or four privately owned CNG stations, Simpson said, but the Energy Office doesn’t monitor them.

CNG in Little Rock

Little Rock’s forthcoming station, at 823 E. Ninth St. near Interstate 30, is mainly intended to service the city’s fleet of CNG-enabled vehicles.



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