Trussville CNG pump opens
By Gary Lloyd
The compressed natural gas pump at the Chevron station on Deerfoot Parkway in Trussville officially opened Tuesday.
The CNG dispensing station is the result of a public-private partnership. The Trussville Utilities Board loaned McCullough Oil $1.08 million for the project and will be repaid with part of the proceeds of CNG sales. The cost of CNG at the fueling station is $1.55 per gallon.
The city of Trussville already uses CNG to operate 40 city vehicles, from police cruisers to dump trucks. Those vehicles will fuel up at the Happy Hollow Chevron, and the public can also use the dispenser.
Trussville Mayor Gene Melton said CNG is far less costly for the city, and it’s a domestic fuel source that burns cleaner than traditional gasoline.
“This year, with our current fleet of CNG vehicles, the city will save $100,000 or more in fuel costs,” Melton said. “Next year, as we convert more vehicles, we could see those savings double.”
Also supporting the project is the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, which promotes the use of alternative fuels such as CNG. The coalition’s executive director, Mark Bentley, was on hand for Tuesday’s event, which included a ribbon cutting.
“More and more people and businesses want to use fuels that save money and reduce our reliance on foreign oil,” Bentley said. “But access and convenience are part of the equation. Trussville and McCullough Oil are helping to clear the way for people to use alternative fuels.”
The Trussville CNG fueling station is one of five in the state. There are others in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Pell City and Evergreen.
Melton has said that a domestic fuel source is less financially insecure than a foreign one. CNG vehicles can accumulate up to 15,000 miles between oil changes and require less maintenance than traditional fuel-burning vehicles, Melton said.
The gas is pressurized to 3,600 psi and in the event of a fuel tank breach, it simply dissipates rather than igniting. The CNG pump connects much like a larger version of a tire pump and is air-tight. The pump constantly monitors the amount of fuel entering the vehicle and adjusts pressure accordingly.
The compression tanks that hold the CNG can fill 10 large city vehicles before running out. The pumps then shut off for about eight minutes until they automatically and completely refill.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.