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HIA considers leasing land for gas refueling station

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Harrisburg International Airport has an agreement with a Texas company to study the airport as a possible site for a public compressed-natural-gas refueling station.

The Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority board signed a letter of interest with this week with Trillium CNG for a "90-day term of due diligence to decide if HIA is a suitable location."

"They're looking for some kind of targeted outreach to identify potential users," said Tim Edwards, HIA executive director. "They need to make a determination if there's enough of a customer base to justify a need."

Compressed natural gas can be used in place of regular gas, diesel fuel and propane. It is safer and produces fewer undesirable gases.

At the end of the 90-day term, the airport will discuss a lease agreement if Trillium wants to proceed, Edwards said. Typically, the landowner receives a "flowing fee" on each gallon of gas sold, Edwards explained.

HIA has a similar agreement with Sheetz, he said, adding that if the leases are struck, it would mean an added revenue source for Harrisburg International Airport.

"I think more fleet operators are looking at this type of fuel, because it's cheaper," Edwards said.

Based in Chicago, Trillium is a business unit of Integrys Energy Group, a diversified holding company with regulated utility operations in several subsidiaries.

Trillium has about 25 CNG stations, most of them in Texas and California. The company opened four new CNG stations in December alone.

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