A company is making a major investment in three natural gas fueling stations in West Virginia along the I-79 corridor. IGS Energy CNG Services plans to spend $10 million in the next few months to build stations in Charleston, Jane Lew, Bridgeport and Mt. Morris, PA.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin helped make the announcement Thursday on the site of one of the future stations at the Foodland on Spring Street in Charleston.
“[It's] the beginning of the infrastructure necessary to support our state’s conversion to natural gas fueled vehicles,” according to Tomblin.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper says the project is a win/win for everyone involved.
“It’s one of those things that sounds too good to be true but it actually is true!”
West Virginia has an abundance of natural gas. That made IGS/CNG’s decision to invest in the four stations along I-79 an easy choice.
Carper believes once the public realizes the benefits compressed natural gas compared to gasoline and diesel, they’ll be ready to buy a CNG-fueled vehicle of their own.
“The fact that we spend billions of dollars a year importing fuel from the Middle East that doesn’t burn that clean to begin with, instead we can use our own natural gas right here at about 40-percent less cost,” according to Carper.
Currently the average cost for a gallon of regular unleaded gas here in West Virginia is $3.43. The price for the same amount of CNG is $2.10. That price is not expected to increase anytime in the near future.
One of the big questions about CNG-fueled vehicles is how they compare ride-wise to their gas counterparts.
“You can not tell the difference. There is absolutely no difference in power, performance. The only difference is that it is natural gas from here,” Carper said.
Construction is set to begin on the fueling stations in the next couple of months. They should be open for business before the end of September.