GAIN Clean Fuel opened its first central Ohio compressed natural gas fueling station Aug. 5 at FST Logistics, 2040 Atlas St. in west Columbus, just south of Hilliard, according to Bill Renz, general manager for GAIN Clean Fuel.
CNG, which is methane stored at high pressure, is an alternative fuel that can be used to power vehicles.
The new CNG station at FST Logistics will be the seventh unit open to the public in Franklin County, said Matt Stephens-Rich, projects manager for Clean Fuels Ohio, a nonprofit organization that promotes alternative fuels and efficient vehicles.
The other stations are in Dublin on Shier Rings Road and in Columbus at Alum Creek Drive and Frebis Avenue; at Interstate 270 and Brice Road; and on Groves Road, Jackson Pike and Morse Road, Stephens-Rich said.
Franklin County also has two private CNG fueling stations operated by the Central Ohio Transit Authority and Waste Management Services.
"It's a delight to watch (CNG stations) grow in Franklin County," Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks said at the grand opening for the station.
State Rep. Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) said the increased use of CNG "makes business sense."
Duffey likened the increasing use of CNG to a chicken-and-egg quandary. He said increased availability of CNG stations would prompt further use of CNG vehicles in the private sector.
David Kent, president of FST Logistics, said only five of FST Logistics' 75 trucks currently use CNG but the company would continue to purchase new trucks powered wholly by CNG. He said the company also plans to convert old trucks to run on a mixture of CNG and diesel fuel.
Kent said he hopes to have the entire fleet converted in six years but it is contingent upon the development of a CNG network nationwide.
FST Logistics trucks to the lower 48 states and in many instances, there are not enough CNG stations to support long-haul drives, Kent said.
CNG is measured per GGE, or the amount of CNG equivalent to the energy of one gallon of gasoline.
Renz said the CNG station at FST Logistics is projected to dispense about 300,000 GGEs by the end of the year.
FST Logistics is expected to account for about 70,000 gallons of that usage, according to Mike Reed, business-development manager for GAIN Clean Fuel.
The CNG station in Dublin dispensed 153,000 GGEs last quarter, April through June, according to Stephens-Rich.
In the past 18 months, the Dublin station has dispensed 300,000 GGEs, Stephens-Rich said.