Compressed natural gas pumps to open at two locations

Tops to convert fleet, public facility to open

By Samantha Christmann | News Staff Reporter
August 31, 2015 – 3:19 PM

Two compressed natural gas fueling stations are coming to Western New York.
Tops Markets will open a $2 million station at its Lancaster distribution facility, 5873 Genesee
St., on Wednesday and begin converting its 55-truck commercial fleet to run on compressed
natural gas. It expects switching to CNG and using more efficient trucks will save the company
1.2 million gallons of diesel fuel per year and cut its fuel costs by more than half.

The fueling facility was developed by Saratoga Springs-based American Natural Gas. National
Fuel Gas Co. lent Tops $375,000 to buy down upfront costs. Tops’ trucks, which are leased
through Ryder, cost $14 million.

Meanwhile, Nexus Natural Gas will cut the ribbon on a $2.85 million public fueling station
Tuesday at 380 Grand Island Blvd. in the Town of Tonawanda. It will be open to both consumer
and commercial vehicles.

Nexus is a consortium of seven companies in the Town of Tonawanda including Triad Recycling
and Energy, Guard Contracting Corp., Speed Global Services, Niagara Metals, the Pariso Cos.,
O&K Truck Repairs and Swift River Associates.
Nexus received a $570,000 grant to help fund the station’s construction, which allowed the group
to convert its 24-truck member fleet to run on CNG. The station was developed in partnership
with Clean Communities of Western New York, Cobey Energy and National Fuel.

Natural gas has to be compressed to about 4,000 pounds per square inch in order to load enough
fuel into a gas tank and make a natural gas vehicle practical. Once compressed, the gas is stored
in horizontal steel tubes and dispensed from pumps that look much like traditional gasoline
pumps. CNG vehicles have a heavier-duty cylinder than a diesel engine so it can handle the
higher pressure. Aside from modifications to the fuel intake system and fuel tank, the vehicles
works the same as a diesel-fueled vehicle.