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Rhoads Energy to install first CNG pumps in Lebanon County

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Rhoads Energy Corp. plans to install two compressed-natural-gas pumps at its Fredericksburg Pacific Pride fueling station — the first CNG pumps in Lebanon County.

The pumps will begin dispensing CNG fuel to commercial customers within weeks, Rhoads Energy said in a news release.

CNG is a clean-burning, domestically produced fuel that offers less volatile pricing than imported fuels. Fleet operators have made CNG an increasingly popular alternative to diesel because it cuts fueling costs by 30 percent to 60 percent and lowers emissions significantly, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center.

General Electric is among rail companies testing natural gas in their locomotives as a way to cut fuel costs. From 2012 to 2014, Pennsylvania issued $20 million in grants to convert vehicles to natural gas, the release said.

For the pump installation, Rhoads Energy partnered with U.S. Gain, which builds and operates CNG stations across the country. The partners selected the Fredericksburg Pacific Pride station at 725 Legionaire Drive, one of four owned and operated by Rhoads Energy, because it offers easy access from nearby Interstate 78, the release said.

In the coming weeks, U.S. Gain will complete the addition of two high-flow CNG dispensers at the site, which will continue to offer diesel and gasoline fueling. According to U.S. Gain estimates, the new fast-fill CNG pumps will quickly ramp up to 100 fuelings per day, the release said.

Michael DeBerdine III, CEO of Rhoads Energy, said that U.S. Gain, with its extensive nationwide experience, has been the ideal partner during the project’s development.

“The new CNG pumps will expand the options available to our region’s commercial fleets, enabling them to realize significant cost savings,” DeBerdine said. “As we move ahead, Rhoads Energy will continue to identify energy alternatives for our customers and work to bring them to market.”

Currently, there are 29 publicly available CNG fueling stations in Pennsylvania, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center. The closest to Fredericksburg are in New Holland and Pottsville.

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